(WKTV) - James Guirguis kept his first- and third- grade daughters, Isabelle and Lydia, home from Myles Elementary School in New Hartford on Monday in protest of the Common Core curriculum.
Guirguis and his wife took their daughters to the New Hartford Public Library, where they read books and also had time, if they chose, to engage in something that he says common core has left them little time to enjoy.
"Now they're coming home and there's very little time left over for play," Guirguis said. "Childhood ... it's all about making sure we hit the mark on these modules. Making sure everybody gets the scores necessary and, as far as I can tell, they're not getting the scores."
Guirguis adds that his 8-year-old stresses over tests to the point of tears at times. Guirguis points to lower test scores, questioning the wisdom of this new, standardized way of learning.
Jessica McNair, of New Hartford, has been one of the loudest local voices against Common Core. Her son went to school today, but left early to join mom and dad at Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney's office, where they shared their concerns about Common Core.
Officials in the Utica City School District say there was no difference in attendance there, with the exception of the north Utica schools, which had roughly seven more absences than this day last week. But they say there's a stomach bug going around, so it's difficult to determine at this point if those absences are in protest, or due to illness.
Central Valley Academy in Ilion and the Frankfort/Schuyler Central School District report no noticeable changes in attendance.