education reform

Why Are So Many Students Absent?

Today Education Week is running a poll on their Facebook page asking the question:
What do you think would be the most effective in combating absenteeism?

The choices:

  • Reaching out to parents
  • Harsher discipline for students
  • Establishing truancy officers
  • More before – and after-school programs
  • Community-based efforts
And while some of these ideas are not bad, the most effective method isn’t even mentioned:  
Have engaging curriculum with student choice.  Until we make school worth coming to, students are not going to be invested.
Really, Education Week, you couldn’t think of that?

4 thoughts on “Why Are So Many Students Absent?”

  1. That is exactly what I wanted to say. MOTIVATION is key. I rarely have late and absent students. Maybe it is a coincidence, but year after year my students are more «present» than in other classroom…A parent told me once : "Before, I had to fight everyday with my daughter so she would get up and go to school. Since she is in our classroom, I have to fight with her so she stays home when she is sick."Don't get me wrong. Relationship with parents is important. But giving your students a reason to come to school will get them. MOTIVATE them. They won't miss a day.François

  2. So true! What a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of education. But I'd also like to add a few that fit into the context of the schools in my district:1. Better jobs (many students miss school because they live such transient lives)2. Daycare for parents with young kids (many students miss school because they watch younger siblings)3. Universal healthcare (many kids miss because they are sick, really sick, and aren't able to get help) The problems are deeply social and rooted within the injustices of our system.

  3. Francois and John, thank you. And John, the reasons you add are so true. To only come up with the reasons that Education Week came up with is to view it through the easy lens and not taking the long, hard look that our school system actually deserves.

  4. This post is so true. How can you expect students to come to school if it's not interesting to them. Getting the students opinions should help teachers make lesson plans that will have the students more motivated to come.

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