Great Schools has this story about Parent-power-school-turnaround - Parental Power. The turnaround is aesthetic not academic. The school is in Chicago, but it reminded me of the Portland Schools construction bond measure - making schools more attractive in a non-academic sense does not make the school more attractive academically.
While the parent in the story as well as other parents and school principal certainly deserve kudos for the improvements in the school plant - something that should have never been their responsibility in the first place. It is may be more aesthetically pleasing as viewed by parents, but the school hasn't improved academically.
The story's parent risked her child's future by failing to place her child in a better academic environment. She apparently chose a known failing school a couple blocks from home. An odd choice given that while her child could have had a better academic opportunity elsewhere, the parent could have worked to repair and improve the local school.