Today (November, 18th) is National Keep Your Child Home Day in protest of the Common Core Curriculum. The anti-Common Core movement has been steadily gaining momentum this year and has been a bit more visible and main stream than it has been previously. Today’s protest event has been widely talked about on social media, posted about by the news media and spread through parents groups across the country. Even though I support having a day to make a stand for education, I did not keep my kids home today. What I’m doing instead is I will challenge the same people who are encouraging keeping children home in protest of what is wrong with education, to also make a stand for making improvements in education and host a National Send Your Child To School Day on an alternate day.
I know, you’re going to say that Send-Your-Child-To-School-Day is every day. But it’s not. Not really.
According to my children’s district, , on any given day 3,000 of the RCSD’s 28,600 students are absent from school. They’re not in school because of social issues, family issues and health problems. Maybe some days they just can’t physically make the transport to school. I challenge the movers and the shakers of our community to have a day to protest where the system has previously and continues to fail our children. To not only encourage, but to actually fight for and help every child make it to school, at least for just one day. Make flyers, design internet memes to be posted and shared. Make pleas to parents, PTOs and PTAs. Contact the media, speak about it on evening television. Ask employers to give parents a break. Start hashtags on social media and create Facebook groups in protest of the outrage. Offer families help, give rides and encourage carpooling. Go to areas in the city where kids gather and discuss the value of an education with them. Join forces with clergy and knock door to door. Make calls and write your local and state lawmakers and urge them to fund busses for all students who need one, promote anti-bullying programs, and anti-gang initiatives. Fund schools to have registered nurses on staff and host days where mobile dentists come to school. Make cardboard posters on sticks and stand outside of state conferences and workshops. Ask unions and districts to include a clause for convenient parent teacher conferences and/ or home visits for students in crisis. All these things could encourage positive attendance rates.
I am not bashing keeping kids home. This isn’t a post against protesting the common core or keeping kids home to make a point. On the contrary, I believe it’s important to make a stand, and when you feel passionately about education you need to fight to make it better. I just also plea with vocal groups to create alternative solutions and foster parts of the system that have been broken for years. Our education system has been in crisis way before the Common Core was a gleam in the eyes of the National Governors Association.
Over the last few months I have heard a lot of protest in regards to the Common core, but very few realistic solutions. I’ve heard The Core get bashed by politicians, teachers, parents, famous authors and news media, but I don’t think I’ve heard any of them come up with viable alternatives. And we can’t go back. We can’t pretend that education was better before The Core, or that our system didn’t need a shake-down. We can’t pretend that schools in disadvantaged areas doesn’t offer a second-rate curriculum. We can’t pretend that we aren’t failing our nation’s students both on an academic and a social level. And we can’t deny that truancy and a lack of being invested are daily problems in our schools.
I don’t think you can create a system that is one size fits all, but even more problematic is creating and continuing a system that is not equally distributed. I’m talking about the fact that because you live in an urban are you might not get to have an art teacher in your building or get a change to take a foreign language or Math 4. One thing that all students on a national level have in common is the need to not just show up, but be present in class (as well as have access to all that is available to other affluent districts). If only there was a day dedicated to Just that.