Thanks so much for visiting me here on my newly revised website. Along with an altogether new look, the changes allow me to more readily offer you timely, informative articles, websites to visit, and even quotes to use in your teaching. There’s also, of course, my free, monthly The School-Wise Newsletter, keeping readers up-to-date on all that’s happening in education.

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Chronic Absenteeism in America’s Schools

28/09/2016   |   No Comments »

With thanks to Education Week‘s Lovey Cooper, here are the absentee numbers and where they’re the highest, based on research by Johns Hopkins University’s Robert Balfanz and Hedy N. Change, director of Attendance Works:

  • Their analysis, “Preventing Missed Opportunity,” is based on data from the  U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and found that 6.5 million kids were chronically absent from school during the 2013-14 school year. In other words, they missed 15 or more days which translates to 3 or more weeks of school.
  • That number represents some 13% of all students.
  • At least 89% of public schools reported some degree of chronic absenteeism.
  • These absent kids were in just 4% of our nation’s school districts and in 12% of schools, translating to 654 districts in 47 states and D.C.
  • Urban districts have both high rates and large numbers of chronically absent students. These include those in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore.
  • Many poor, rural districts also have high rates and represent a majority of districts reporting rates of 30% or higher.

Concluded Balfanz, “What’s clear from our analysis is that chronic absenteeism follows poverty wherever it is found in significant concentrations.”

And as Chang noted, “All the best instruction in schools does not make a difference if students are not there to benefit from it.”

And that’s a given…




The PDK International & Education Next Common Core & Testing Polls

22/09/2016   |   No Comments »

iStock school buildingWith thanks to Education Week, these poll responses speak volumes about the Common Core, their related online assessments, and the billions spent to implement them–all to very mixed reviews. Your tax dollars at work…

Question: “Are standards preparing students to succeed?”

  • 27% = Extremely/very well
  • 40% = Somewhat well
  • 30% = Not so well/not at all well

Question:: “Do you support or oppose letting parents decide to have their children take math and reading tests?”

  • General Public: 25% support; 15% neither; 60% oppose
  • Parents: 38% support; 13% neither; 49% oppose
  • Teachers: 40% support; 8% neither; 52% oppose

Question: “Do you support or oppose the Common Core standards in your state?”

  • General Public: 42% support; 15% neither; 42% oppose
  • Parents: 42% support; 15% neither; 43% oppose
  • Teachers: 41% support; 8% neither; 51% oppose

Question: “Do you support or oppose the use of standards in your state?”

  • General Public: 55% support; 17% neither; 28% oppose
  • Parents: 57% support; 13% neither; 29% oppose
  • Teachers: 46% support; 7% neither; 46% oppose