The tools to transform public education in California have been put into the hands of parents. What they do with them, next year especially, will dictate the future of education in California.

This month, in particular, has been a bit of a watershed for parent empowerment. It was the month in which the first use of the new Parent Trigger Law occurred in an elementary school in Compton. This law allows parents to organize to force changes - small or big - if their neighborhood schools are failing their children.

It was the month in which members of the LAUSD school board proposed the district craft a plan to encourage and reward parent engagement in a district that has effectively shut parents out.

It was the month that the second, and perhaps most important, round of Los Angeles Unified's groundbreaking School Choice Program's collected opening bids from groups that want to take control of failing schools.

Parents can have tremendous power to influence which new operators are picked to run the 13 schools open for new management.

In many ways, parents are being handed the reigns of power and the possibility to transform education for their kids and those not even born yet. Hopefully, they will use their power well - and wisely.

To be sure, there are many entrenched groups trying to influence parents - some with sincerity, others with