Two years ago, the federal government took an enormous step toward providing the first national data on chronic absenteeism. The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) asked the school districts it surveys to report how many students are missing 15 or more days in a school year. The data will be released for the first time next spring, providing a font of information about the who, what and where of chronic absence. We can’t wait to dig into it.
But we want more. OCR is asking for input by Monday, Aug. 3, on its Civil Rights Data Collection program, and Attendance Works is submitting these comments. We encourage you to submit comments as well on this link. Feel free to lift any or all of the comments we’ve developed.
Chiefly we want OCR to change its definition of chronic absence from missing 15 days to missing 10 percent of the school year. There are several reasons.