RI #1 In Teacher Absenteeism
Earlier this week, USA Today highlighted that Rhode Island was the state with the most teacher absenteeism in the country (GoLocalProv picked it up today), according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
New research suggests that teacher absenteeism is becoming problematic in U.S. public schools, as about one in three teachers miss more than 10 days of school each year. The nation’s improving economic picture may also worsen absenteeism as teachers’ fears ease that they’ll lose their job over taking too many sick days, researchers say.
First-ever figures from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, compiled in 2012, also show that in a few states, nearly half of teachers miss more than 10 days in a typical 180-day school year.
Rhode Island: 50.2%
New Mexico: 47.5%
Schools serving larger proportions of African-American and Latino students are “disproportionately exposed to teacher absence,” notes researcher Raegen Miller, who studied the federal survey data for the Washington-based Center for American Progress, progressive think tank.
The national average is about 33% (“1 in 3”), but in RI it’s 50%. Great. Look, I’m as tired as anyone of highlighting yet another negative “high” ranking, but when national publications highlight the results of Federal Government studies, we can’t ignore them. The rest of the nation won’t. So, yet again, we’re the “hey, at least we don’t live there” state.