UPDATE: More additions at the end.
Miami Herald reporter Kathleen McGrory attended today’s staged event put on by Patricia Levesque of Foundation for Florida’s Future to support Parent Trigger. McGrory writes in Naked Politics:
Is the contentious parent-trigger proposal in trouble?
Patricia Levesque, the executive director of former Gov. Jeb Bush‘s Foundation for Florida’s Future, held a press conference Tuesday morning to “debunk myths” associated with the proposal.
She was accompanied by Pat DeTemple, a senior strategist for Parent Revolution, the group that helped create the law in California. Nikki Lowery, of former D.C. schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee‘s organization, StudentsFirst, joined via telephone.
After the “press conference” FEA lobbyist Jeff Wright pointed out the obvious by asking “why are not parents from this state participating in this conversation?” Wright said. We have parents in Florida… We don’t need California or the Foundation’s help.”
From parent’s advocacy group, Fund Education Now, comes a list of Florida groups who are opposing Parent Trigger:
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Fund Education Now
Florida School Boards Association
Florida Gifted Network
Marion’s United for Public Education
Testing is Not Teaching
Citizens for Strong Schools
50th No More
Support Dade Schools
So Levesque was only able to produce Parent Revolution and Rhee’s Students First as representative of parents. While a mother from Gadsden county testified last week on behalf of Parent Trigger, it’s clear there’s really no clamor for the legislation in Florida. Even the bill’s supporters admit that many of the bill’s provisions would still be in place if the bill were struck down. Knowing they are unable to argue on the merits, they’ve recently been reduced to empty pleas to “give parents a seat at the table.”
Is this whole exercise about Jeb Bush’s vanity? After last year’s defeat, he vowed Parent Trigger would be back. It’s telling that he was unable to gain additional allies and is limited to using one of Michelle Rhee’s operatives on a conference call and Parent Revolution whose very existence depends on Parent Trigger. No wonder there appears to be little stomach for this in the Senate. It looks as if they are going to be asked to go to the mat for Bush to make sure he doesn’t suffer a second political defeat in his own state.
National Women’s Political Caucus