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'Trigger' law distracts from parents' responsibility in education

To the editor: Kudos to The Times for presenting a somewhat balanced view of California's 2010 parent-trigger law. What was missing was a discussion of parent responsibility. ("It's time to reconsider the parent trigger," editorial, Aug. 3) 

As a Santa Ana Unified School District teacher for 20-plus years, I have seen many families from diverse backgrounds create an atmosphere of success for their children. What is their secret? These parents make sure that their children do their homework, they help them study their math facts, and they read with them every night.

Before any trigger law is implemented (possibly destroying the careers of good teachers and staff), the parents at that school should also be held to some sort of accountability. Signing that petition should signify that parents are dissatisfied after having done their due diligence at home to ensure their child is prepared for school.

Education (even at the "best" schools) has always been a partnership between teachers, the community and, yes, parents.

Christopher Damore, Fullerton

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To the editor: This editorial concludes, "The time has come to start imagining a more thoughtful version" of the parent-trigger law.

Former state Sen. Gloria Romero, the education activist who is most often credited with this aimless law, based the idea on a glaring flaw, a damaging absence of reason. Parents are not skilled at addressing educational issues, and the "tools" proffered by Romero's law are absolutely ill-advised.

Parents can and should fight the fight when their schools fail, but this law targets the wrong causes with worse solutions.

A more thoughtful version? Get real. We need to replace educational fixes such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top. There are reasoned solutions offered by competent minds, very few of them politicians.

James Rodriguez, Whittier

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