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Report Shows Increased Amount of Absence Among Educators

Elementary students
Karen Kasler

Nearly one-third of Ohio public school teachers are chronically absent, according to a new national report. But the rate in charter schools is significantly less.

The report from the charter-school advocate Thomas B. Fordham Institute says nearly 29 percent of Ohio teachers in traditional public schools miss more than 10 days of school per year. In Ohio charter schools, the rate of chronic absenteeism drops to about 6 percent. The data does not include days teachers attend professional development training or school field trips.

The study’s author David Griffith says there’s a correlation between teacher absenteeism and student achievement.

“We spend so much time and devote so many resources and so much thinking to trying to boost student achievement in so many other ways and yet here, sort of right in front of us, is this straightforward and kind of intuitive way that we can make our education system work better and more effectively for kids,” Griffith says.

A statement from the Ohio Education Association says the Fordham Institute is biased and the study draws  “unwarranted conclusions.” Fordham’s Ohio arm sponsors more than a dozen charter schools in the state.