A teacher read the discussion about the “parent trigger,” which assumes that schools improve when parents have the power to fire some or all of the staff, or to turn the school over to a private charter operator.

This teacher disagrees, based on direct experience:

I can add to this discussion. I am a teacher in a “failing” inner city school that was closed down and had its leadership and faculty changed. I came in a year after the new principal and have been there for several years now.

What happened is that changing the leadership, the staff and structure of the school, the supervisory network, the uniform requirements all has not changed the school’s low performance. The reasons are clear, it’s because it’s the kids are all the same, the families are all the same, the neighborhood is the same and all of the same community-wide problems are the same.

Changing principals, APs, teachers, or even the name on the school does not address the underlying troubles in our school – poverty, drugs, crime, violence and teen pregnancy.

But education-related factors can be just as damaging, from the regimen of standardized tests that makes school mind-numbingly boring to the cherrypicking of “desirable” students by nearby charter schools. These are the fault of politicians and corporations, not local school staff, but cut into valuable learning time and waste tax dollars just the same.