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News Brief

06/03/14

Teachers Absent From Class Way Too Much, Study Says

USA Today (06/03/14) Konz, Antoinette

A new National Council on Teacher Quality report on the attendance of more than 234,000 teachers in 40 large U.S. school districts in the 2012-13 academic year found that teachers missed an average of 11 days. About 16 percent of all teachers were classified as chronically absent because they had missed 18 days or more, while 40 percent of teachers had moderate attendance with four to 10 days of absence and 28 percent who were considered frequently absent had between 11 and 17 days absent. Long-term absences for serious illness or maternity and paternity leave were not included in the study. National Education Association (NEA) director of teacher quality Segun Eubanks said that steps should be taken to improve attendance and limit unnecessary absences, preparing for those absences, and setting higher standards for substitute teachers. The study also found that districts with formal policies to discourage teacher absenteeism did not have better attendance rates than those districts without such policies.
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