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California must set ambitious goals to combat chronic absenteeism

Ed Source – Phyllis Jordan

“Last week, California’s parents and educators received a new trove of information about what’s going on in the state’s public schools. For the first time, state officials released data on the level of student absenteeism in every school. The data show more than one in 10 students are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of the school year in excused or unexcused absences. The problem strikes in rural, urban and suburban schools. It is worse among foster children and homeless students, among Native American and African-American kids.”(more)

More than 1 in 10 California students are ‘chronically absent’

Ed Source – Lee Romney
and Daniel J. Willis

“California education officials on Tuesday released school-level data that shows that last year more than 1 in 10 students were chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days for any reason. The data, which the state released for the first time, reveals that 1 in 4 foster children was chronically absent from California schools last year, as were about 1 in 5 homeless, Native American and African-American students.”(more)

What Teachers Must Consider When Moving to Flexible Seating

KQED news Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Flexible seating in classrooms has become popular over the past few years as educators try to make school feel like a welcoming place with different kinds of spaces for different types of learning. Frustrated with static rows of clunky desks, some teachers have taken to rearranging their rooms, bringing in furniture from home, and generally trying to shake up the way classrooms feel by paying attention to lighting, color and clutter. Educators who have followed this path insist there are some serious considerations to keep in mind.”(more)

Cutting absenteeism in primary schools

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“A pilot program reduced absenteeism in elementary schools by an average of 10 percent, according to a new study by Duke researchers. Chronic absenteeism is linked to poor grades, low test scores and eventually, dropping out of high school. While most truancy prevention efforts focus on middle and high school students, the Early Truancy Prevention Program concentrates on first- and second-grade students. The pilot was field-tested at five schools in a mid-sized North Carolina school district. This is among the first programs for primary school students that has been effective in improving absenteeism rates.”(more)

37 States Are Using Their ESSA Plans to Crack Down on Chronic Student Absences. So How Will They Do It?

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“Chronic absenteeism in schools is like bacteria in hospitals: an invisible force undoing all the good work done elsewhere, as one researcher posited. It doesn’t matter how strong the teaching or curriculum or anything else in a school is if students aren’t there to learn it, Bob Balfanz, a researcher at Johns Hopkins University and head of the Everyone Graduates initiative, said at a panel Tuesday at Georgetown University.”(more)

New Study Finds 1 in 4 Teachers Chronically Absent From Classrooms; Problem Is Three Times Worse in Traditional Schools

The 74 Million – David Cantor

“Teachers in traditional district schools are three times as likely to be chronically absent from the classroom as those in charter schools, meaning they are gone for more than 10 days in a typical 180-day school year, a new research paper has found. In all, 28.3 percent of teachers in traditional schools, compared with 10.3 percent in charters, miss that much time, according to the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education-focused think tank, in a study on teacher absenteeism nationwide released Wednesday. The totals include both sick and personal days.”(more)