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Report: 27 Percent of Full-Time Teachers Nationally Chronically Absent

Report: 27 Percent of Full-Time Teachers Nationally Chronically Absent

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By    |   Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:33 PM

More than 25 percent of full-time public school teachers are chronically absent, missing more than 10 days of regular classes, the Washington Post reported.

The shocking national statistic was released by the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, which estimated this summer 27 percent of the nation's teachers aren't in class for the equivalent of two weeks of school, the Post reported.

Some school systems, especially those in poor, rural areas and in some major cities, saw chronic absenteeism among teachers rise above 75 percent in 2014, the last year for which data is available, the Post reported.

It estimates 58 school districts with more than 1,000 full-time teachers had chronic absentee rates above 50 percent.

For example, the Post reported:

  • In the Alamance-Burlington School District between Greensboro and Chapel Hill, N.C., 80 percent of 1,500 teachers missed more than 10 days of school in the 2013-2014 school year.
  • In Cleveland, about 84 percent of its 2,700 teachers had excessive absences.
  • Nevada's Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, reported more than half of its 17,000 teachers were chronically absent.

The Post reported the National Bureau of Economic Research has found when teachers are absent for at least 10 days, there is a significant decrease in student outcomes. The decrease, according to one study, is equivalent to the difference between having a brand-new teacher and one with two or three years of experience, the Post reported.

"Most teachers are there all the time, as they should be, because they want to be in the classroom," Nithya Joseph, director for state policy at the National Council on Teacher Quality, told the Post.

"When the teacher of record is not in the classroom, it has an impact on student achievement."

According to the Post, part of the problem is the school environment.

"I would wake up in a panic and feeling like there was a pit in my stomach," Sean McGrath, a former social studies teacher in Washington, D.C.'s Stuart Hobson Middle School, told the Post. "It was a feeling of dread and despair."

The school reported 58 percent of its teachers missed more than 10 school days in the 2014 school year, one of the highest rates Washington's public schools, the Post reported.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said the federal data doesn't paint a fair, complete or accurate picture because it only reports when teachers are out of their classrooms, not why.

"The data also doesn't address some other basic conditions faced by teachers — the stress, the need to work beyond the school day and the juggling of work and home that interferes more with their family life than most professions," Weingarten said. "To better address absenteeism, we need to understand root causes."

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More than 25 percent of full-time public school teachers are chronically absent, missing more than 10 days of regular classes, the Washington Post reported.
public, school, teachers, absent
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2016-33-26
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:33 PM
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