NJLeft Behind reposted a startling Chalkbeat story about the under-reported absenteeism at Newark Public Schools. To the surprise of no one, it’s all about the money and adults’ jobs, not the students.
“Schools might have had additional reasons for relaxing their attendance policies. A teacher at one of the city’s comprehensive high schools said administrators told staffers this fall that if attendance rates did not improve, the school could lose funding and be forced to cut jobs. In response, staffers started marking more students present.
‘Because September numbers were too low, the methods of collecting daily attendance were greatly modified,’ said the teacher, who requested anonymity to avoid retaliation. Now, a student can check in with a teacher in the evening and be counted present for the entire day, or submit classwork days late and be retroactively marked present on the day it was due, the teacher said.”
Where is Newark Superintendent Roger Leon on all of this? He just acceded to the NTU’s call for extended all-remote learning, backing off an earlier plan to go with a hybrid learning model. Now we learn that all-remote learning has been a disaster for Newark students and that administrators are actively trying to suppress absenteeism numbers to cover that up.
The Newark Board of Education must speak up. Their superintendent appears to be looking after the NTU and not the children. That cannot be an acceptable posture.