Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jon Shields

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© 2017 Camille J. Zelinger


In 2010, California passed the California Parent Empowerment Act allowing parents to become directly involved and take a stand against their children’s underperforming public schools. This thesis is an ethnographic case study of the motivation of Anaheim’s Hermosa Village Parents to trigger the transformation of their underperforming public school, Palm Lane Elementary, into a public issued charter school. It will be one of the first publications to capture the individualized stories of Anaheim Elementary School Parents, their motivations, experiences and trials in their fight against the Anaheim Elementary School District in order to obtain high-quality education for their children. This thesis paper will present the complexities of the conflict by discussing the following: a brief history of charter schools, the evolution and legality of the California Parent Empowerment Act, and the development of conflicting interests between Palm Lane Elementary Parents and the Anaheim Elementary School District. Lastly, it will expose the conflict’s current status and larger political implications.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.