College and career readiness took center stage earlier this week when Dr. Vince Bertram delivered the keynote address at the “Great Northwest” Leadership Conference at Northwest Missouri State University. Several themes were explored during his talk including the rate of technological change, the skills gap, understanding market demands, educational philosophies, and relevant learning experiences.
There’s a dynamic tension that often goes unexplored in the educational profession that shapes the work of teachers and the learning experience of our students. Educators have been repeatedly encouraged to transform their classrooms based on research, technological innovations and emerging practices. Meanwhile, the constraints of the accountability movement serve to narrow the curriculum, inhibit risk-taking and perpetuate a test-prep culture at the school or district level. The tension is real.
Despite efforts to communicate the importance of regular school attendance, the recommendation to prioritize attendance often goes unheeded. Missing more than 10% of the school year is considered chronic absenteeism and equates to missing 18 days of school. The long-term consequences of absenteeism at this rate are devastating if left unchecked.