- According to a National Council on Teacher Quality report released Tuesday, a significant number of urban teachers were "chronically absent" during the 2012-2013 school year.
- The report says that 16% of teachers in the nation's 40 largest school districts were absent at least 18 days of the school year; the average number of days missed by urban teachers was around 11.
- Though teachers in these districts did show up 94% of the time, about 33% of all absences were the result of chronically absent teachers — and policies meant to prevent such absences weren't much help.
This report highlights a contributor to under-performance issues in urban schools beyond the oft-cited inequality — both on the school funding level and with students' families. According to the research of Jeffrey Duncan-Andrade, many teachers in low-income urban districts either have a sense of distrust and even disdain for their students and the surrounding community, or they become detached and disillusioned, sticking to the status quo. Finding and addressing the common issues at the root of these chronic absences is yet another step that officials should take as they work to improve urban schools.