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.