“While teachers reported a range of obstacles that interfered with their students’ attendance, the challenges mostly fell into two big buckets – limited or no adult assistance or support at home and difficulty learning in or adapting to the virtual environment.”
by Lauren Camera
Nearly half of public school teachers in the U.S. reported at least one student during the 2020-21 school year who was enrolled but never showed up for class, according to new federal data that provides one of the first glimpses from the national level of the major challenges that sidelined student learning and the types of schools they left behind.
The report, originally published by the Government Accountability Office last month but updated with new information this week, is part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to understand how the pandemic affected the country’s public school system. The data was pulled from a national representative survey of public school teachers that the GAO contracted Gallup to conduct about their experiences during the 2020-21 school year.
High school teachers were the most affected, with roughly two-thirds, or 65%, having at least one student who never showed up, compared to less than half of teachers in kindergarten to grade eight.
In addition, teachers in urban schools were significantly more likely to report having students who never showed up compared to those in rural and suburban schools – 65% compared to 45% and 44%, respectively – as were teachers who taught in schools where the majority of students enrolled are students of color, 56%, compared to those who taught in majority-white schools, 45%…
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