I’ve been emailed information about a protest being planned to speak out against federal education policy by keeping their child home and/or protesting at their state house/state department of education on October 17th.
I’ve also have had people tweet at me encouraging me to join in.
— USPIE (@StopFedEd) October 3, 2016
First, I sympathize with what US Parents Involved in Education is trying to do. I have no problem with groups protesting at their state department of education or state house. I’d suggest the state DOE would be more impactful as most state legislators are not in session right now.
I can’t get behind linking skipping school with this protest however.
I wrote about this in 2013 when a similar event was planned, and my opinion hasn’t really changed since then. Here’s a recap of some of my thoughts I shared back then (slightly edited for relevancy):
I appreciate the zeal those 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.
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.
Anyway, if you wonder why we are not promoting it that’s why. Also, the steering committee members that governs Truth in American Education are in agreement that this isn’t an activity we’ll join, especially since we represent a variety of activists who have differing opinion about this type of protest.
So, if you are so inclined to protest at your state capitol or department of education on October 17 go for it. As far as keeping your child from school, we collectively are not supporting that, but you do what is in the best interest of your child and your family.