Thursday, September 7, 2017

Too many students playing hooky

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following statement. 

Close to 10 Percent of Mississippi Public Schools Report Extreme Rates of Chronic Absence Among Students
Problem Can Be Addressed with Prevention and Early Intervention
 Close to 10 percent of Mississippi’s public schools report extreme chronic absence rates, with close to a third of students missing 15 percent or more of the school year, according to a national analysis released September 1.
Across Mississippi, 88 of 902 schools report that 30 percent or more of students are chronically absent. The percentage of Mississippi schools with an extreme chronic absence rate mirrors the national rate of 11 percent. An additional 132 Mississippi schools report 20-29 percent of students are chronically absent. At such high levels, all students in the classroom are affected when teachers have to deal with the churn of sporadic attendance.

The chronic absence analysis, “Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absence,” was released by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center.  

The report used data from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, which defines chronic absence as missing 15 percent or more of the academic year (180 days) for any reason, including excused and unexcused absences, suspensions, and time missed due to changing schools. Chronic absence is different from Average Daily Attendance (ADA), which show the average percentage of students who are present over a snapshot of time.

“Missing too many days of school for any reason puts children at risk academically and can translate into a child who can’t read by the end of third grade, fails courses in middle school and eventually drops out of high school,” explains Hedy N. Chang, Executive Director of Attendance Works. 

Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, unreliable transportation or housing moves — barriers that state and city agencies and community partners can help families address. 

“The research is clear about the link between chronic absence and student achievement. If children are not in school, they are not learning,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Parents, school and communities need to work together to ensure that students are attending and staying engaged in school every day.”

“Portraits of Change,” by Hedy N. Chang and Robert Balfanz, profiles examples of attendance initiatives found throughout the country that show how chronic absence can be turned around, even when it reaches high levels in a school or district or among a particular student population. The report also shares how partners such as businesses, nonprofits and local governments can team up with educators and add support and resources.

Released in connection with Attendance Awareness Month in September, the report relied on the latest federal data available to show that high levels of chronic absence can be found in schools throughout the country regardless of setting: rural, town, suburban and urban districts. The absence levels are significantly higher, however, in schools with larger percentages of low-income students.


Anonymous said...

The way they calculate this is not reflective of the reality of life. As a parent that lives in a rural area of the state and has to DRIVE anywhere for doctor's appts, etc. it is almost impossible not to cut it absences close if you have a child that is dealing with a chronic illness, unusually sick (flu/pneumonia), a death in the family, etc. And I'm not one for letting kids have a "slick" day or sleep in. I work. I have a schedule to maintain myself. Chronic absences should be counted for ENTIRE DAYS missed. Not partial. It's a racket. But we can now claim the highest paid upper management for the crappiest schools in the U.S. Score one for Mississippi!

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a viable school from which to skip first!

Anonymous said...

I was prepared to watch an NFL game tonight. But, during the national anthem at least one player decided he'd rather sit than honor his country (with all its imperfections). He has every right to do so. Many people died to give him that right. So, I exercised my right to change channels and watch something else. Fuck the NFL and its overpaid players who are spoiled and think we give a shit about their political beliefs. Quit football (and your ridiculous salary) and form a nonprofit if you want to change the world.

PittPanther said...

9:03pm, thank you for joining me in boycotting the NFL this season. The fact that lesser QBs than Kaepernick are signed to contracts while he languishes, is disgusting. If more people like us turn off their TVs this season, perhaps the NFL will make some changes. First would be to stop playing the anthem, as it has nothing to do with football.

Anonymous said...

Public Education in Mississippi is a JOKE!!!!

The so-called Leader of Education in Mississippi is a JOKE!!!!

And, whoever hired this so-called Leader of Education in Mississippi is an IDIOT or perhaps an entire BOARD of IDIOTS!!!!

We have the poorest excuse for public education in the State of Mississippi that we have ever had and to think that we are paying the highest salary to a State Superintendent of Education of any state in the union. In order for this to be a viable plan, we should have at least 90-95% of our schools with the highest ratings in the country; instead, we have schools all over the state constantly being threatened with state take-overs because their ratings are so low. And, we have the highest paid Superintendent in the nation who has made zero difference in our public schools and cannot find her butt with both hands!

It's time someone looked into this situation; obviously, this woman knows where the bodies are buried!

Anonymous said...

The "chronic absence" problem is part of the MDE K-12 well as across every strata of higher education. Everyone in upper administration is in on the scam, because it's tied to federal dollars that are used for FAT salaries and to build new buildings that are nowhere near needed. It's a fact. Thousands of faculty are pressured to keep their mouths shut and "excuse absences" (which is counting them present when they aren't). Data is money.....and THROUGHOUT all Mississippi education the mantra is: "It's all about the numbers". Play ball or you're out.

Quit Whining.. said...

So, riddle me this, 4:29...If funds flow based on average daily attendance, how is it to a school's advantage to charge a late arrival as a 'day absent'?

PS: We all have the same issues you listed, regardless of how far out in the sticks we live or whether we're in the middle of town.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:03
I also exercised my right to change the channel from NFL game due to the sitting during the national anthem... I side with Jim Brown and James Harrison from Pittsburgh Steelers on protests... it's completely dumb and wrong format to lobby for something... comedian Kevin Hart said it best... people pay to hear my comedy not my political views

Anonymous said...

@6:05 AM Isn't that the POINT? It's to nobody's advantage except those whose job it is to LIMIT FUNDING. I didn't create the absurd system. Some other highly paid "consultants"or "genius" did. If someone were to "game" the system in order to maximize funding, well that's on them not me.

P.S. Am I the problem here or is it the ridiculously skewed system currently in place? My point was the stats published by the overpaid and bloated bureaucrats in Jackson are not reflective of the real world. Unless the world you live in begins and ends with MDE.

HDMatthias, MD said...

Did I miss something? When I clicked on the Excel spreadsheet, there was no listing by schools or districts.

Anonymous said...

I have never watched a football game, so I am right up there with you guys protesting. I prefer to go shopping. The absences from schools really hurt students. One child misses a day for (really excuse notes received by an attendance officer:

The Braves were in town.

My hamster got loose in the garage and we could not find him.

My mother's tattoo got infected.

We got in late, so we deicided to sleep in and have a movie day.

My mom needed me to watch my little brother.

We forgot that there was school today!

The weather report was bad.

Dad was still sleeping and we missed the bus.

It was skip day.

I had to finish my homework.

The above excuses are not a joke, nor meant to be funny. They are real. One day missed is a day behind in work for a student. Five days missed is probably a full grade if not made up. 12 days missed is most likely a year behind in work and while the student may be passed to another grade level, they will only suffer the following year. Years of this and yes, you have yourself a drop out. Attendance if very important to their self esteem, learning and confidence.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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