In the time I’ve been covering Detroit schools, a consistent concern I’ve heard from teachers is the large number of students who just don’t show up for school on a regular basis.
The Detroit school district had a chronic absenteeism rate of 70 percent last school year. It’s a statistic I have a hard time wrapping my brain around. But it’s a reality for teachers and administrators.
There’s an indication things are improving. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti has cited data showing fewer students this school year are chronically absent. That’s encouraging news in the district, given how much Vitti has invested in addressing this issue.
Erin and I collaborated on a story we published this week that looks at the district’s massive effort to get students in school. And while it involves sending attendance agents out to conduct home visits, the effort is even broader. You can read more about it here.
Meanwhile, there’s big news happening at the state level. The State Board of Education on Wednesday selected three finalists for the state superintendent’s job.
The board spent nearly five hours interviewing three of the candidates Wednesday — in addition to three hours Monday interviewing the other two candidates. Read my story to see who has a shot at the job, and why this job is so crucial in the state. The finalists will be interviewed May 7.
Good news alert: Research released Wednesday finds that Detroit high school grads who earned the Detroit Promise scholarship had better outcomes during their first year of community college if they received coaching and financial incentives.
Scroll down for more education news. And have a great Thursday!
— Lori Higgins