Keeping kids home: Parents plan to protest Common Core - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Keeping kids home: Parents protest Common Core

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About 2 dozen parents and children also participated in a silent protest outside the Bossier Parish School Board offices on Monday. About 2 dozen parents and children also participated in a silent protest outside the Bossier Parish School Board offices on Monday.
At a recent hearing in Baton Rouge, state lawmakers said they agree with having higher standards for education, but believe the new Common Core Standards may have been too much too soon. At a recent hearing in Baton Rouge, state lawmakers said they agree with having higher standards for education, but believe the new Common Core Standards may have been too much too soon.
Louisiana and Arkansas have adopted and implement end Common Core. Louisiana and Arkansas have adopted and implement end Common Core.
Opponents of the new set of learning standards known as Common Core paid for this digital billboard in Michigan, encouraging parents to keep their kids out of school in protest. Opponents of the new set of learning standards known as Common Core paid for this digital billboard in Michigan, encouraging parents to keep their kids out of school in protest.
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

Some parents in the ArkLaTex say they are keeping their kids home from school on Monday, as part of a local and national protest against Common Core.

Common Core is a national set of standards that most states have adopted, detailing what students should know in math and English by the end of each grade, from kindergarten through 12th.

While the new learning standards are not federally mandated, the U.S. Department of Education offered increased funding to states that adopted them voluntarily.

Texas has not adopted the standards, but Arkansas and Louisiana have. Superintendent of Education John White has said the new curriculum pushes students in all grades to be independent thinkers, better preparing them for life beyond the classrooms and in the competition for jobs in other states and countries.

Critics say it has not been tested to prove it's effectiveness, and object to what they call a "one size fits all" approach that does not taken individual learning styles and needs into account. They have also expressed concerns about "age inappropriate content" and lack of parental resources for helping their kids understand homework assignments.

Others have complained that their once-successful students are now struggling with the new standards, and that teachers have not been properly trained to teach them.

According to a Facebook event created by an organization that identifies itself as "Say No To Common Core," "National Don't Send Your Child To School Day," is intended to raise awareness of their concerns and put a stop to the new standards, demanding "evidence-based standards that are locally controlled and no more data mining of our children!"

The protest are set to coincide with the beginning of the American Education Week. Instead of sending their children to school, parents who object to the Common Core standards are invited to participate in public, silent protests at state capitols and local school district offices, or even their local parks.

It's not known how many parents of students in local schools are participating in the protests. In Bossier Parish, Stockwell parent Dawn Thomas kept her child home on Monday, along with the children of several other protesting parents. Thomas has been a vocal opponent of Common Core, and has helped spread the word about the protests by distributing flyers and posting about it on a local Facebook group for Stockwell parents.

"St Tammany parish school board has sent a resolution to the governor and the state superintendent asking to be removed from the program because of the parent opposition to the program.  We want the same result," says Thomas.

About 2 dozen parents and children also participated in a silent protest outside the Bossier Parish School Board offices on Monday. Similar protests were also organized in Baton Rouge, as well as in Alexandria, Lafayette and Natchitoches.

According to Bossier Parish public relations liaison Sonja Bailes, 2 schools had higher than normal absences on Monday. 

Stockwell Place Elementary normally has around 25-30 students out on any given day, but on Monday, 75 students were absent. W.T. Lewis normally has 30 students out, but had 60 students out on Monday. Bailes did say they have no way to tell if the students are out due to the protest or for some other reason, noting that the flu is going around.

A spokesperson for Caddo Parish public schools says there were no reports of unusually high absenteeism on Monday.

At a recent hearing in Baton Rouge, state lawmakers said they agree with having higher standards for education, but believe the new Common Core Standards may have been too much too soon.

Metarie Representative Cameron Henry has already asked Governor Bobby Jindal to take action in removing Common Core from the state. The representative says he also plans to file a bill in the 2014 session to remove the new standards from classrooms.

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