Fight Common Core and Send Your Kids to School

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I’ve been debating whether or not I would write on an event called Don’t Send Your Child to School Day which is set to take place on November 18th as a protest against the Common Core State Standards.  After a Huffington Post article came out today on it I thought I would since it was giving Michael Petrilli of The Fordham Institute another opportunity to paint the Common Core opposition.

“Of course it’s legitimate for people to oppose the Common Core Standards and voice their concerns, but I don’t see how pulling kids out of school and losing learning time is going to help anybody,” Michael Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning think tank, told HuffPost. “This seems to be punishing students and using them as toys in a political debate.”

Petrilli, who has come out in favor of the standards, said that in his experience some of the most vocal Common Core opponents do not have their children in public schools. Notably, Wilson said that she is going to home-school her child, who is not yet school-aged.

It is unfortunate that the author of the article, Rebecca Klein, neglected to contact other members of the opposition to see if they agree with this tactic because what I’ve been hearing from those of us who administer Facebook groups, etc. is that we don’t.

I wanted to share a few thoughts about this event (speaking only for myself).

  • I appreciate the zeal Janet Wilson and others promoting this event have in fighting the Common Core State Standards.  We need people who are fired up to speak out against unprecedented centralization of education.
  • I want to affirm that parents absolutely have the right to take their children out of school for whatever reason.
  • While I don’t quite agree with Petrilli that this is akin to “punishing the students.”  I don’t think it’s a good idea to use our kids to fight Common Core in this manner.  I’m all for boycotting assessments where it is legal to do so, but this event could have unintended consequences.  We have the right to take our kids out of school for the day, but that doesn’t mean it is always wise to do so.
  • It doesn’t seem take into consideration the nuances of different state laws and/or school district policies concerning student attendance and truancy that could possibly have a negative impact on individual students.
  • It gives Common Core advocates another opportunity to label us as extreme.
  • It gives the perception that we are all anti-public school.

I’ve talked with several parents who are considering homeschooling as a result of Common Core and that is a legitimate option (I’m biased of course).  That said if your child is currently in public school I belief there are better ways to fight this such as the action plan that Anne Gassel of Missouri Coalition Against Common Core developed or change your Facebook profile picture.

Photo credit: Woodley Wonder Works via Flickr (CC-By 2.0)

20 thoughts on “Fight Common Core and Send Your Kids to School

  1. So do you disagree when a strike of underpaid workers takes place? The government itself has shut down to get attention. Whilst it may not always be wise, I do think it teaches our children to stand up, unafraid, for what they believe in. A lot of things in this world have been changed by strikes, protests and sit-ins. It should be up to the individual and not an outside pressure that causes a decision. By forcing attendance to school for a specified amount of days and a certain number of minutes, the school already controls your children, It has been proven that the extra hours and the ridiculous amount of homework are not necessary for a proper education. Many home-schooled children thrive much more on fewer hours and no homework or standardized tests. Sending our kids to school does not teach them to stand for their beliefs. If you were christian and your child’s school was having Muslim day, where each child had to dress in traditional Muslim attire and recite their beliefs, and you objected, would you send them and protest with a facebook picture?

        1. I did pull my child due to anti-Christian activity last year. When I exhausted every avenue to get the school to not do the activity, I pulled her out on the days it was held. The school knew why and my daughter knew why. We now homeschool. My issue with this event is more about it being the wrong action at this point in time. In specific districts, maybe this would be effective. CCSS is a state mandate though so focus on state legislators and state BOEs. Educate them on the issue. Educate other parents so they can join you in pushing for a change at the state level. Most in my district do not care at all and I have been talking about this for months in multiple venues. It is building momentum though and people are starting to pay attention in my state… I realize NY is far ahead of most other states in implementation and issues.

      1. These aren’t just adult issues. Child abuse, which is what common core is, is a child issue, with all due respect. Know your facts about this awful curriculum.

  2. As an active member of the “Stop Common Core” movement and the administrator of the Badass Parents Association and C5-NJ (Both are Stop CC groups and pages), I applaud everything you stated here, Shane! While I support the rights of parents to make whatever educational decisions for their children that they deem fit, this “stunt” that Ms. Wilson pulled was poorly planned, completely lacking of any research into the legal implications for those that participate and done so without consulting with those of us who have been building the grassroots movement since the beginning.

    Such things as this have been looked at intensely over the last year and it was determined that it was, in fact, an unwise plan, as many states and school districts across the nation have truancy laws that could cause serious repercussions for both the families and the children of those who chose to take part. Another factor is that the majority of Americans are only now learning about the Common Core and the harm that is coming from it and the High Stakes Testing that is linked to it.

    If there is one thing that the leadership of the many organizations across the nation are fully dedicated to, it is making sure that our members and their children are never exposed to potential legal troubles and poorly researched actions, such as this woman has perpetrated upon them.

    Thank you again for stating what needed to be said and being a thoughtful and intelligent voice in education!

    -Michael Bohr

    1. The ONLY way a child can be considered truant is if they have already used up their unexcused absences. A child is allowed a certain total of excused and unexcused absences per year and, if those have not been exceeded, CANNOT be considered truant. If the school tried, they could be sued for false prosecution. There is your research. done by a parent and verified by the school board and juvenile court. Not everyone besides your groupies is an idiot. You just don’t want to take a day off work to ruffle a few feathers. This country didn’t become great while people like you let everyone else do the hard work….. oh wait…… it did…. In spite of people like you who don’t want to make your “mommy” mad. America needs to take their testes out of their handbags and stand up, FOR ONCE, in something you believe in! Talking and talking about it gets nothing done. Everyone thinks everyone else is going to make the move.

      1. In some areas, some kids may have already used up all their unexcused absences or tardies, and this absence would definitely count against them. If the child is older, I know of several districts that could, and would, LEGALLY penalize the child with insubordination accusations and consequences. There is your research, from not just a parent whom has verified this through her own district and school board, but whom has a lawyer for a father that knows the laws inside and out and warned me from the gate about something like this.
        Being informed, well-connected, well-supported, and well within your rights is one thing. To recklessly hijack a movement, claim the work as your own, and make all of us look like we’re all cut from the same cloth in national publications…that’s what dissolves strong movements by deterring newcomers and causing inter-group divisiveness. It makes us all look like radical, raving lunatics. Not all of us take political partisanship, not all of us home school, not all of us are Christians, and we shouldn’t all be “painted” into the same box.

      2. I don’t have to take a day off work, but taking mine out of school will do nothing more that make her behind for a day. Nobody would even notice….Most parents in my area have no idea what CCSS is yet….so there is no way they will keep their kids out of school for this.

      3. I post under my name… and you post under “wmk”. Who’s “standing up”? It’s very easy to make comments anonymously… I’m sure everyone is comforted by your sage and well researched legal advice.

        1. I don’t see you oh so freaking concerned with concerned mama above me! Or are you only concerned when it suits you? I did the research and asked questions because I have a friend who works for a juvenile court judge and some parents were concerned. And If people would read CORRECTLY, I posted “The ONLY way a child can be considered truant is if they have already
          used up their unexcused absences. A child is allowed a certain total of
          excused and unexcused absences per year and, if those have not been
          exceeded, CANNOT be considered truant.” It was correct information and not misleading in any way. Nowhere did I say that even if the kid has used up all of his/her days, keep them home, It is a parent’s decision and no person should be treated badly for choosing to stand up in whatever way they feel they need to. And wmk are my initials. I am not anonymous, I am smarter than some by not putting all of my personal information out there on the web for people to target for identity theft. I learned that in real life, not Common Core.

  3. My children both attend public school. I am an educational advocate, mainly for those with learning exceptionalities. In protest of the implementation of The Common Core Standards in my state, I will be keeping them home. I did, however, fill out an excused absence form and explained that my children will be visiting their local state reps. Changing a Facebook picture is not enough action to stop a nation wide federal mandate!

    1. No, changing a facebook picture will not stop it… What it IS doing, however, is educating more people about what is happening with that federal mandate so that one day there will be enough people to make a more “action-based” protest more effective. The more people who are aware, the better chance of an ACTUAL Nationwide protest.

  4. I must add this since your article discusses Janet Wilson’s efforts. I was a member of Janet Wilson’s Facebook page, as I was seeking to join forces and know that numbers is important in grass roots advocacy. She posted this article and warned members that The Huff was filtering comments. Several members, myself included, shared that we are not standing in opposition of The Common Core due to religious beliefs. We stand in opposition for a myriad of reasons. As an educational advocate for those with learning exceptionalities, I have concerns these standards will cause additional hurdles for effective inclusive practice. I have concerns that teachers are being held accountable for yet another set of standards of which they have no training or support. I have concerns that these additional standards will yield yet more time spent of tests, and will leave little time for specials and character building. I stand in opposition because I believe that States have been bullied by the Feds to adopt these standards. I stand in opposition because when legislators are questioned regarding a policy in which they voted yeah, can’t explain why. When given insight and knowledge they are realizing their mistakes. I stand in opposition because this Fed educational policy is corrupt. Follow the funding stream. When I stated the various reasons for standing in opposition, and religion not being one, I was deleted by Janet Wilson from her fb group. I assure you, I am speaking to those standing in opposition to The Common Core, make this about religion and you will FAIL.

  5. If the number of students pulled out on a given day was significant, schools would lose a tremendous amount of ADA (average daily attendance) money. That would certainly get their attention. Living in California, I am not part of this particular planned event; I’m just pointing out a fact in regards to ADA.

  6. Also keep in mind homeschooling curriculum, (I homeschooled my children 3yrs) is being re-written by some of probably your favorite publishers and soon to be all Curriculum available globally will have CC standards. It’s been brought down from the United Nations and will herd in homeschoolers in the next three years. It’s not just government control nationally, it’s global control. Read the following, do your research, homeschoolers are not safe for long. http://www.esdtoolkit.org is the one to look at click on download English version. This document is worth reading. It talks about complete government control of our children.

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