Elbridge, NY - On Nov. 18, Danielle and Tim Karlik plan to keep their teenage daughters home from the Jordan-Elbridge schools for National Keep Your Child Out of School Day, a nationwide protest of the Common Core educational standards.
Nov. 18 marks the start of American Education Week. That day the Karlik girls, Tatum, 15, and Abbey, 13, will stand with their mother in silent protest at the New York State Department of Education in Albany.
"I will use this as my way of teaching them we have freedom of assembly and freedom of speech and that's how they will get their education that day," Danielle Karlik said.
The Common Core is not without controversy. In New York, parents have opted their children out of state testing in protest, some have begun to home school their children, and others have called for the education commissioner's resignation.
The Karliks took part in the protest outside state Education Commissioner John King's appearance Thursday at a question and answer session about the standards on WCNY.
The couple object to the Common Core because of the "iron fisted" way it is being implemented, Danielle Karlik said. They believe it doesn't allow for an individual student's learning style, takes away local school board control over curriculum and over emphasizes testing.
"It's the largest sweeping change to our nation's education system in history, and it has been snuck in relatively unnoticed and unopposed," said Tim Karlik. "It's on the scale of reform comparable to the affordable healthcare act and what I believe has even larger long- term implications in the shaping of the minds of our children."
And what was the genesis of National Keep Your Child Out of School Day?
Janet Wilson created National Keep Your Child Out of School Day almost two weeks ago when she posted a Facebook event page urging parents to keep their children out of school on Nov. 18 to protest the implementation of the Common Core. As of Sunday, more than 3,600 people clicked on the page saying that they were going to take part in the protest.
Parents have shared the event on Facebook pages across the country and the day of protest was noticed by Congressman Ron Paul's website.
Wilson is the mother of a toddler who gives her address as "Upstate." She said she became aware of the Common Core controversy only a month ago.
The more research she did about the subject "the more petrified I became" said Wilson, adding that she plans to home school her daughter. What she found prompted her to create the Say No to Common Core website.
Wilson said she objects to the Common Core for five reasons:
While trolling through the Internet, Wilson said she saw that a woman in Maryland planned to hold a silent protest at that state's education department on Nov. 18, and that sparked her to call for a national day of protest the same day.
- The high cost of implementing the standards.
- The poor quality of the standards.
- The indoctrination aspect of the standards.
- The loss of local control with standards created by the federal government.
- And the data mining associated with the standards.
Wilson's Facebook page and website have tapped into the growing unease expressed by parents like the Karliks about the Common Core standards.
The parents worried about their children's education, worried about the stress and strain of the Common Core tests, concerned over the dumbed-down curricula (see here) and the data collection are not "special interests."
The corporate education reform establishment can try and smear opponents and critics as either "special interests" or "Tea Partiers," but in the end, as the opposition to the reform agenda grows, they are going to find themselves on both the wrong side of the movement and the wrong side of history.