I am usually not a complainer. Right now , I'm pretty livid. A friend and I were discussing NCLB's effect on the state of education today. As I thought about the term No Child Left Behind, I realized it should have been called No Child Left Behind (except if by parents). Last year, two of my students were absent for more than 30 days! In second grade. In first grade, as well. The pattern continues in third grade- each nearing 40 days! One could argue that these children have serious medical conditions. If that were the case, my school would do everything possible to get them whatever they needed. But, when you notice there are patterns in their absences; or when they rule the playground after being home for three days. Or, when you ask, in an authentically concerned tone, where were they or what happened, they say home sick. They often cannot elaborate about their illness. They certainly can tell you exactly what ails them in class when they need to go to the nurse. And if these children (non-readers) were legitimately ill for so many days, wouldn't you call the school in a panic asking for help? Or the teacher who has given you his cell phone number and told you to call anytime? Then when the child just manage to take the NYS assessments and fail, my school is accountable. How is that fair? If any of you know the laws about student attendance, please let me know. Thank you for letting me vent!
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