Beyond Curriculum - Why We Should Care

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This powerpoint presentation was put together by Jessica Pennington, the Executive Director at the Truancy Intervention Project, and presented on August 28 at our Georgia Children's Advocacy Network (GA-CAN!) Off-Session Policy Series. This month we talked all about going beyond curriculum and teachers, and what else kids need from school to stay in school.

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Beyond Curriculum - Why We Should Care

  1. 1. Georgia Children’s Advocacy Network (GA-CAN!) August 28, 2013
  2. 2. Why We Should Care  Georgia’s graduation rate: 67.4%  Third lowest in the nation  Graduation rate of students who miss 11-14 days : 61.08%  Graduation rate of students who miss 15 or more days: 38.09% Sources: Education Week, 2013 ; Making Education Work for all Georgians www.gadoe.org
  3. 3. Georgia’s graduation breakdown  Students with disabilities: 30%  Economically disadvantaged: 59%  Black students: 60%  Limited English proficiency: 32%  White students: 72% Source: Education Week, 2013
  4. 4. Chronic absenteeism vs. truancy  Chronic absence: missing 10% of school days for any reason- excused or unexcused (including suspensions)  Truancy: the act or condition of being absent without permission
  5. 5. Impact  Missing more than five days of school each year, regardless of the cause, begins to affect academic performance and attitudes about school.  Excused and unexcused absences have similar effects on a student’s performance.  The number of absences in the elementary years directly influence a student’s chances of passing state assessments.
  6. 6. Causes of absenteeism Socio-economic factors:  Lack of access to healthcare (increase in illness related absences)  Lack of affordable housing (increase of precariously housed families or “couch-surfers.” The National Coalition of the Homeless estimates this may be as high as 1.65% - 4.7 million people - of the total population)  Lack of affordable childcare (older siblings staying home to care for younger children)  Pervasive economic disadvantage (lack of adequate nutrition, clothing, transportation; inability to pay fees)
  7. 7. Causes of absenteeism Family/Parental factors:  Lack of parental educational achievement (low value placed on education)  Lack of parental supervision  Parental substance abuse  Domestic violence
  8. 8. Causes of absenteeism School-based factors:  School climate - bullying, overuse of harsh disciplinary actions by school administration, a feeling by the student that he or she is unwanted.  Curricula - lack of interesting or challenging curricula or unidentified special education needs.
  9. 9. Causes of absenteeism Community factors:  Community upheaval and social change  Loss of neighborhood schools and sense of 'ownership' of schools  Negative peer influences  High incidence of substance abuse, criminal activity  Gang activity  Inadequate provision for transportation
  10. 10. Beyond curriculum and teachers: What else do kids need from school to stay in school?

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