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ALEC Member in OK. Proposes ALEC’s Model: “Parent Trigger Law”

Featured image from Big Education Ape Blog

State Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, has announced he will introduce legislation in 2013 that will allow parents to overhaul chronically low-performing schools:

“A parent trigger law in Oklahoma would provide a way to break old patterns, and empower the people that are most invested in success — parents and students — to set a new tone for their school,” he said.”

In this article from Tulsa World, experienced researchers can point to this “legislation” as a key example of how the ALEC cabal (consisting of billionaire operated foundations, multi-national companies, conservative funded think tanks, bought and paid for state lawmakers and Congressional “alumni”) advances their conservative ideologies and pro-market concepts through drafting and then lobbying for enactment of laws they’ve written.  It also shows where the money being funneled into these activities comes from and how media influence is used to facilitate four decades of success;

 “The parent trigger movement was spurred by two controversial conservative groups, Heartland Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is financially supported by billionaires such as the Koch Brothers and Phillip Anschutz.

Walden Media produced “Won’t Back Down.The company is a division of The Anschutz Corp, which owns the Oklahoma Publishing Co., publisher of The Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City.

The film also is being distributed by 20th Century Fox. The company is owned by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp., which owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.”

This Parent Trigger legislation is written, lobbied for, proposed and supported by ALEC.  Their model legislation is titled “Parent Trigger Act” and has been introduced in several states and is pushed without shame or actual regard for our students.

Tulsa World did a great job of tying the Koch brothers and Anschutz to Heartland and ALEC…but they missed the fact that Murdoch’s News Corp is a member of ALEC, that Koch holds a seat upon ALEC’s Private Enterprise Board (holds seats upon ALEC’s Education Task Force and Communications and Technology Task Force…or that Senator Holt is in fact a member of ALEC.

Most lists you’ll find providing names of ALEC members does not provide information that Sen. Holt is a member of ALEC (perhaps that’s why he was chosen to sponsor this legislative bill?) but he very definitely is.  At his Oklahoma Senate bio page, Holt proudly lists that he is a member of ALEC and the Council of State Governments:

“A tireless volunteer, David has been a member of many organizations, including the following:

• Putnam City Schools Foundation Board of Directors
• Oklahoma County Republican Party Executive Committee
• Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee
• Northwest Oklahoma City Chamber Board of Directors
• Oklahoma State Chamber Congressional Activities Committee
• Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Foundation Board of Trustees
• Oklahoma Municipal League Legislative Committee
• Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Board President
• Oklahoma City Downtown Club Board of Directors
• Quail Creek Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors
• Allied Arts Board of Directors
• Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma
• ACM@UCO Business Development Center Advisory Board
• Oklahoma City Zoo Trust
• Arts Commission of Oklahoma City
• Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Board of Trustees
• Lake Atoka Reservation Association Managing Board
• McGee Creek Authority
• Oklahoma Olympic Engagement Committee
• Big 12 Basketball and Baseball Championships Host Committees
• Oklahoma Academy for State Goals
• Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Association
• American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
• Council of State Governments
• National Conference of State Legislatures”

With millions from the likes of the Gates, Koch, Scaife, Coors (Castle Rock) and DeVos Foundations, ALEC’s pursuit of privatizing our public schools from K-12 through college is proceeding nicely.  Through their media outlets they fill the airwaves with propaganda denouncing teachers as inefficient, overpaid and members of Unions that are the cause of costly and undeserved wages for public sector workers.  Their answer to these problems they have created themselves through cuts in funding at all levels of public education is: privatization.  This is the ALEC/Conservative cabal’s primary goal: privatize all government services from prisons, jails and penal services to utilities, state lotteries, schools, school transportation and health services.  This is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses are members of ALEC…and share seats on many of the same ALEC “task forces” developing legislation such as this Parent Trigger model to transfer public school operations (and the tax dollars that pay for those services) to private companies.

Take a brief few moments and look here at all of the model bills ALEC has developed and is marketing in regard to just education.  Then if you’re really feeling this doesn’t apply to you, your child or your state…visit your legislative website and take a look at current or past legislation that mirrors what you found in ALEC’s proposed model legislation.

VLTP wishes more print, broadcast. digital and investigative media outlets would report on these ALEC efforts and let the public in on the massive amount of propaganda being fed to them by corporate owned media outlets.  However with Koch’s Institute for Humane Studies (operated out of George Mason University) supplying interns to our top U.S. media outlets it is difficult to find an unbiased outlet willing or able to disseminate any factual “news” to Americans today.

“Won’t Back Down” Film Pushes ALEC Parent Trigger Proposal

While Parent Trigger was first promoted by a small charter school operator in California, it was taken up and launched into hyperdrive by two controversial right-wing organizations: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.

What is a Parent Trigger law? The proposals have varied from state to state, but they generally allow parents at any failing school, defined by standardized testing, to sign a petition to radically transform the school using any of four “triggers.” Parents can petition to: 1) fire the principal, 2) fire half of the teachers, 3) close the school and let parents find another option, or 4) convert the school into a charter school. While the details of how the school can be “restructured” vary from state to state, the charter school option is always present. Charter schools are privately managed, taxpayer-funded public schools which are granted greater autonomy from regulations applicable to other public schools, ostensibly in exchange for greater accountability for results, but they have been criticized for uneven and mediocre track records.

The trigger is from a gun aimed at the survival of our public school system and promotion of ALEC’s education program.  To read all of this excellent article from PRWatch, please click here

To see the trailer for this movie, please click here
the link to the trailer has been removed as YouTube apparently was fearful of a complaint from FOX (ALEC member via News Corp.).  No sooner did I remove the video – per YouTube’s instructions, than we got another message from YouTube telling us that there was no claim.

This appears to be part of a campaign of attempted intimidation.  Virus attacks from sources unknown were planted on the computers of two of our researchers preventing them from getting to this site.  A virus was planted on my computer also, again by sources unknown, but I removed it before knowing what it was going to do.

We will not be intimidated or silenced in our efforts to get information to our readers.