There is no rest for education activists fighting Common Core and Race To the Top reforms, even during the holidays. This yuletide season, Rachel Cohen, a New York State warrior mom hopes to distribute thousands of “Choose To Refuse Common Core” bookmarks to parents still learning about the latest reforms hitting classrooms across the country.
The new standards, high stakes testing, and data mining continue to make headlines, but many parents and teachers are still just beginning to learn about them—and how this fundamental transformation of the American education system harms students. The bookmarks offer a non-threatening way to share bite size information about Common Core and its related mandates.
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Cohen doesn’t charge for the bookmarks, but does ask for reimbursement of shipping costs—however she sends bookmarks to people even if they can’t pay shipping.
Choose To Refuse group members report their creativity in their distribution of bookmarks, from strategically placing them in stores to handing them out in car pool lines. Cohen endorsed these ideas as examples of how to use bookmarks this holiday season to spread awareness about education “deform” in today’s classrooms:
- When sending Christmas or Hannukah (or whatever you happen to celebrate) cards, place a bookmark or two inside the card. Send holiday cards with bookmarks to the parents of all your children’s friends.
- Pin bookmarks on community bulletin boards—at your bank, grocery store, gym, coffee shop, and even your place of worship.
- Visit your family’s barbers and hair stylists. Don’t just leave bookmarks, but educate them on “fed led ed” while getting your hair cut. Be sure to talk loud so everyone can here.
- Doctors, dentists, and therapists all have waiting rooms. Give people something to read while they are waiting by placing bookmarks in these types of places. (Pediatricians’ offices are especially a good place to awaken mama bears ready to protect their children from federally mandated child abuse linked to Race To the Top reforms.)
- Stop by bookstores and leave some bookmarks at the customer service desk or register areas. Libraries are a good place to leave bookmarks too. People who read books will use bookmarks!
- Carry bookmarks with you at all times. Hand them out when standing at the checkout line at the store, bank, gas station—or anywhere that you stand in line for something.
- When dining out, slip a bookmark with the tip.
And for the education activist in your life, what better gift than a whole box of bookmarks?