Parents and students protest Common Core standards

Posted at: 11/18/2013 4:43 PM
Updated at: 11/18/2013 5:36 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

There was a protest in Albany Monday over the Common Core, the new education standards. Dozens of people, including students, held signs and marched in front of the state education building. 

Monday was also “National Don't Send Your Child to School Day” and it's all tied to the Common Core. Most local school districts said nothing was unusual with attendance, although in Fairport, 291 kids were absent. The school district doesn't know if that's because of the Common Core protest, but it did say, on average, just over 200 students are absent. 

Parents who are protesting across the country say Common Core has high expectations and offers little flexibility when it comes to standardized tests. That's why some parents kept their kids home from school. A movement of peaceful protest is just the beginning.

Shannon Joy, parent against Common Core, said, “Parents are looking for opportunities to voice their opposition to Common Core. So in the upcoming months and year, you will see more and more opportunities. I am sure there are already planned “Keep Your Kids Home from School Days” being planned. You will see a lot of peaceful protests, parents are going to keep their kids from doing the test, they will opt out of the testing.”

Shannon Joy is part of group raising awareness about what they believe  are the negative impacts of Common Core, like teacher evaluations and standardized testing. Joy didn't keep her kids out of school, but Cristia Spampinato, who lives in Webster, did. Her kids spent the day at home instead of in the classroom. She doesn't like Common Core, because she says it does not focus on what works best to educate each child. She says it is a “one size fits all” approach and she doesn't think it's working.    Spampinato hopes this protest will make school boards listen to parents'  concerns.

Cristia Spampinato said, “I look at it is as a personal decision for me and I feel satisfied with my decision in keeping them home. They got up at the same time, we had breakfast and did our reading so it hasn't just been a play day.”

On Wednesday, state representatives, education experts, and parents have an opportunity to discuss Common Core. There will be a meeting at the Memorial Art Gallery from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

A spokesman from the New York State Board of Education released a statement about the protests, “We will continue to seek public input and we'll make changes. But we will not change our course. The Board of Regents and the commissioner are committed to the implementation of the Common Core in New York's classrooms."