Chronically Absent From School
Well: if you do not show up for class, how do you expect to learn and get a decent job?
If you do not show up for class why would an employer believe you will show up for work?
The Michigan Capitol Confidential news site is reporting that 2/3rds of Detroit students are “chronically absent”. Chronically absent as defined by Michigan means missing more than 10 days in one school year.
What are we supposed to do if you will not commit to improving yourself?
Where are the parents in these situations?
There cannot be that many children who have a good excuse, can there be?
A new attendance policy was put in place by the state that could see truant students and their parents prosecuted in court. That apparently does not seem to be working with these students or some parents.
If the parents are doing all they can do then this is not on them, and should not be condemned or punished for trying.
Really, what are we supposed to do if they do not appear to want to help themselves, have we created a class of people who simply do not care and expect to be taken care of their entire life?
Should the schools have a meeting with the chronically absent students and their parents to determine why they are chronically absent and if there is something else we can do to make school more appealing to them?
Will they show up to that meeting?
How about they throw a pizza party to get them to that meeting?
According to the article there are other troubled school districts around the state that are struggling with this same issue. For example Benton Harbor has 58.9% of students who are chronically absence, Flint 52.7% and the Pontiac school district 49.9%.
Also according to the article Detroit Public Schools truancy policy calls for possible home visits by state agency workers when a student has six unexcused absences and after nine unexcused absences, students and their parents can be charged by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
John Rakolta, a co-chair of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, believes a multipronged approach is needed and was quoted in the article saying:
"the state controls Detroit Public Schools, so nothing about this is easy, the DPS attendance issue is heartbreaking, and it is something that charters are dealing with too.”
"This is exactly why we need the governor, the mayor, and pragmatic lawmakers in both parties to come together to find a solution that gives all kids a fair shot. The fix is complicated. It likely involves comprehensive transportation, dealing with aggressive suspension and expulsion rates, addressing health and safety issues, and helping parents be a part of the solution. It’s on all of us to get this right and get kids back into quality schools in Michigan’s biggest city."
So I ask all of you, what more should we be doing to improve this issue?
Let’s discuss this today on my program, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.