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How about ‘Leave Your Daughter or Son in School Day’?

Post by Patrick O'Callahan on April 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
April 22, 2010 8:30 pm

The timing of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” – smack in the middle of the school year – was lunacy from the day the event was launched in 1993.

Nothing wrong with taking a daughter or son to work, if it’s possible. But why the third Thursday in April? Why yank kids out of classes when you don’t have to? Why in heaven’s name not hold the event in July?

Educators, after playing along gamely for years, have begun pushing back against an event designed to hijack an entire school day and override carefully planned curricula. This from the Associated Press today:

CHICAGO – Many U.S. school districts urged parents to keep their kids in class and not take them to work Thursday for an annual event they say disrupts learning at an increasingly critical time of year.

From Arizona to Illinois to Texas, educators alerted parents that between high-stakes standardized testing in some areas and the H1N1 virus that kept thousands of children home earlier in the school year, the timing of “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” doesn’t make sense.

Tacoma School Superintendent Art Jarvis, in for a visit today, was circumspect but clear when I asked his opinion.

“We’re trying to increase the time students spend with their teachers and reduce the disruption,” he said.

“Taking ‘taking your child to school day’ to a non-school day would be helpful to us.”

Another problem with the event: It is skewed against kids whose parents have dangerous, tedious or wearying jobs. I suspect that few construction workers, store clerks and burger-flippers took their children to work today.

On the other hand, those children didn’t miss school. They’re better off for getting left out.

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