Parent-trigger laws

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Hour 1

The movie “Won’t Back Down” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis is about a crusading single mother and inspiring teacher who are trying to fix their children’s failing Pittsburgh public school. It doesn’t sound like it would generate a lot of debate except that at the heart of the movie is the issue of parent-trigger laws which the characters use to take over the bad school.  Parent-trigger laws have been adopted by seven states and are being considered in many more, including Pennsylvania.  These laws give parents in failing schools the right to fire staff, shut down a school or change it into a charter if a majority of parents agree. This hour, we’ll debate parent-trigger laws with MATTHEW BROUILETTE, President of the Commonweath Foundation and HELEN GYM, founder of Parents United for Public Education.


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[audio: 100812_100630.mp3]

Photo Credit: AP Images / 20th Century Fox, Kerry Hayes

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