Education

Common Core critics celebrate National Don’t Send Your Child to School Day

Hey, America, did you know that today — Monday, Nov. 18 — is officially National Don’t Send Your Child to School Day?

On the one hand, most American K-12 students would surely prefer a sunny day in, say, early May. On the other hand, any day is a good day off from school, and at least there’s a three-day weekend involved.

The holiday of sorts is a national protest against the Common Core State Standards Initiative. It’s the brainchild of Janet Wilson and her website, SayNoToCommonCore.com.

Wilson chose Nov. 18 for the grassroots protest because today is also the first day of American Education Week.

Wilson and other Common Core opponents object to the Common Core standards for a host of reasons. They say the implementation is too expensive, for example. They also say Common Core is a poor-quality set of one-size-fits-all standards that too cedes much local control over education to faceless bureaucrats.

“Help us send a message to the federal government,” Wilson said in a press release. “We the people want evidence-based curriculum that is locally controlled and which does not require data mining our children. Instead of sending your children to school on November 18th, please educate them at home.”

As of early Monday morning, about 6,100 people have indicated that they will keep their kids home, according to the event’s Facebook page.

If all goes according to plan, there will also be silent protests at state capitols and local school district offices around the country.

The nationwide protest has received coverage from a number of local media outlets around the country.

This fall, for the first time, 45 states and the District of Columbia began implementing the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which attempts to standardize various K-12 curricula around the country.

The Common Core standards demand that students know certain things by certain grade levels, but do little to describe how teachers should impart those skills.

The standards have been endorsed by numerous groups including the National Governors Association.

Criticism of the Common Core has risen sharply. Opposition has brought together conservatives who are opposed to centralized public education and leftists who deplore ever-more standardized testing.

On Friday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan insisted that “white suburban moms” are to blame for opposition to the Common Core standards. Duncan said those moms are learning that “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” (RELATED: Arne Duncan blames irrational angst of ‘white suburban moms’ for Common Core pushback)

President Obama’s education secretary did not explain how “white suburban moms” have come to this extraordinary conclusion, given that the Common Core implementation has only been going on for about three months.

Follow Eric on Twitter and on Facebook, and send education-related story tips to [email protected].