Exclusive Video: An Unprecedented Look at Chronic Absenteeism Rates of Teachers

An interview with Thomas B. Fordham Institute senior research and policy associate David Griffith.

Thomas B. Fordham Institute senior research and policy associate David Griffith speaks here about his new report, “Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools.” He takes an unprecedented look at teacher chronic absenteeism rates in charter and traditional public schools—that is, the percentage of teachers who miss at least eleven days of school, excluding professional development days and field trips.

His major findings include the following:

  • Nationally, teachers in traditional public schools are almost three times as likely to be chronically absent as teachers in charter schools: 28.3 percent versus 10.3 percent.
  • In eight states plus the District of Columbia, traditional public school teachers are at least four times as likely to be chronically absent as their charter school peers.
  • In thirty-four of the thirty-five states with sizable charter sectors—and in each of the ten largest cities in the country—teachers in traditional public schools are more likely to be chronically absent than teachers in charters.
  • The chronic absenteeism gap between charter and traditional public school teachers is largest in states where districts—but not charters—are required to bargain collectively.
  • Teachers in unionized charters are twice as likely to be chronically absent as teachers in non-unionized charters.

The interview was conducted September 21, 2017, with Choice Media’s Bob Bowdon.

Read or download the full report, “Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools,” below.

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