Speaking of teacher effectiveness, the National Council on Teacher Quality released a report today called “Roll Call: The Importance of Teacher Attendance.” NCTQ analyzed 2012-2013 school data from 40 of the largest urban school districts in the country, including Newark Public Schools, for trends and correlations. From the report’s Executive Summary:
- On average, public school teachers were in the classroom 94 percent of the school year, missing nearly 11 days out of a 186-day school year (the average school year length). Teachers used slightly less than all of the short-term leave offered by the district, an average of 13 days in the 40 districts.
- 16 percent of all teachers were classified as chronically absent teachers because they missed 18 days or more in the school year, accounting for almost a third of all absences.
- In spite of previous research to the contrary, this study did not find a relationship between teacher absence and the poverty levels of the children in the school building.
Among Newark’s 2,879 teachers, the average annual absence rate was 94.11%, about on par with the other districts studied. 9.69% of Newark’s teachers had an “excellent attendance rate,” defined as missing no more than 3 days per year. 43.63% missed 4-10 days per year, which NCTQ regards as “moderate attendance.” 30.05% missed 11-17 days during the 2012-2013 years, qualifying as “frequently absent,” and 16.64% of Newark's teachers were “chronically absent,” missing 18 or more days during that year.
- Districts with formal policies in place to discourage teacher absenteeism did not appear to have better attendance rates than those without such policies, suggesting that the most common policies are not particularly effective.
See coverage today from the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post.