Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Post-Covid Truancy Epidemic; Make Parents Pay for Kids Who Miss School to Curb Chronic School Absenteeism; Educators Act as if Education Is Unimportant. Don’t Be Surprised When Students Believe Them, and other C-Virus related stories

Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The Post-Covid Truancy Epidemic:
Schools closed, then reopened, but many students still don’t attend regularly.
While urgent events clamor for our attention, it’s often the quieter trends that do more to shape our future. Consider school absence.
The pandemic dealt a blow to school attendance. Many schools stayed closed too long, but even among those that reopened relatively quickly, student absence soared. Even now, years after resuming in-class instruction, most school systems are seeing high levels of student absences.
About 15% of students nationwide in 2019 were chronically absent, meaning they missed 10% or more of the school year, or about 18 days, according to the American Enterprise Institute. Full data aren’t yet available from the 2023-24 school year, but fragmentary statistics from local jurisdictions aren’t encouraging.
Students from poorer families are more likely to be chronically absent from school, but even in the nation’s richest districts, chronic absenteeism was nearly twice as high in 2023 as in 2019. Surprisingly, the length of time a school was closed isn’t a reliable predictor of absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism in 2023 stood at 28% of students for districts that remained closed the longest, not far ahead of 25% of students for districts that reopened the fastest.
A district’s racial makeup is a better predictor of what percentage of students miss school, but even in majority-white districts, chronic absenteeism rose significantly, from 13% in 2019 to 22% in 2023, compared with 17% to 30% in majority nonwhite districts.
The situation in Washington is especially severe. This past November, the District of Columbia superintendent’s office reported that more than 40% of students were chronically absent during the 2022-23 school year, including a stunning 60% of high-school students. Black students were about 10 times as likely as white students to be chronically truant, making it impossible to narrow the black-white academic achievement gap. --->READ MORE HERE (or HERE )
Make parents pay for kids who miss school to curb chronic school absenteeism:
The COVID pandemic has ebbed, but one of its most damaging long-term effects has not.
Chronic school absenteeism — collateral damage from students accustomed to staying home for alleged online learning — persists across the country.
In New York City, a stunning four in 10 students — some 353,000 — were chronically absent, for the last full school year (2021-22). The national figure is 22%.
It’s hardly a way to combat the learning loss of school lockdowns, which, per the National Assessment of Educational Progress, set back math and reading proficiency by two decades, especially for low-income students.
New York has tried a carrot approach to push parents to get their kids up and out in the mornings.
In 2022, Gov. Hochul authorized some $214 per child in back-to-school aid for families on public assistance.
The city schools deploy a legion of “attendance teachers” to “work with parents, schools and city agencies to find solutions to a child’s attendance problem.”
The problem has gotten worse but it’s not new. In 2013, Mayor Bloomberg started a Truancy Reduction and Public Safety center — to little avail.
It’s time to remember that a child’s school attendance is first and foremost a parent’s responsibility — and a stick as well as a carrot can be deployed.
Under the state’s last Republican Governor, George Pataki, this was understood.
For two short years, beginning in 1998, the state authorized “learnfare.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

+++++Educators Act as if Education Is Unimportant. Don’t Be Surprised When Students Believe Them+++++

Mystery Finally Solved? New Discovery Could Explain Long COVID

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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