How A Parent Revolt Sparked A Turnaround At This LAUSD School

Four years ago, as Mario Garcielita took his new job at 20th Street Elementary School, the new principal made a promise: “We’re going to get this ship going in the right direction.”

At the time, a group of parents with a wide range of concerns — united in their belief that L.A. Unified School District officials were failing at 20th Street — had turned to a controversial remedy: California’s “parent trigger” law.

The law allows parents at an “underperforming” school to force huge changes — like closing the school, converting it into a charter or replacing the staff — if they gather enough petition signatures.

By the time Garcielita took over in 2015, parents at 20th Street had already mounted one “trigger” campaign. By the end of his first year, they’d mount another. Click here to read more: