Monday, March 31, 2008

DCPS faulted for truancy problems

DC State Superintendent of Education Deborah A. Gist is calling DCPS's approach to curbing truancy "fragmented" and ineffectual.
"I think what we need is better coordination and sharing of information and to have a consistent understanding of who owns what responsibilities," Miss Gist said. "There are pieces of work that are good, but the various groups that come into play need to be better organized."

Miss Gist said her office, which is responsible for recommending education guidelines to the D.C. State Board of Education, was analyzing the city school system to determine whether weak policy or poor enforcement has failed to reduce truancy rates.

She will collect input from school officials and parents and offer recommendations to the board in a report due in the fall.

Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee will be required to implement operating procedures based on policies enacted by the board, school officials said.
The statistics available so far for this school year do not look promising. As of February 5% of DCPS students were considered chronically truant, which means they have over 15 unexcused absences.

For reference, here is a DCPS flier explaining the truancy rules.

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