The Review-Journal reported May 14 that 39 percent of Clark County School District students were chronically absent during the 2021-22 school year. The reporter taps experts to explain the empty classroom chairs.
A district assistant superintendent identifies an obvious culprit, the “aftermath of distance education.” One teacher explains that because of cuts to child care services “many students often have to stay home to take care of a sick grandparent or younger sibling.” (Some teachers are a bit gullible about absence excuses.)
The chronic absence rate for Black students was 48.1 percent, and the article addresses the racial component of missing school. The president of the LV Alliance of Black School Educators notes: “Black students in particular often feel alienated at school, think they don’t have a voice in their own education and struggle to relate to predominately white teachers.” Clearly, this person is an expert — she uses the word “pedagogies” — a word uttered only by those who spent significant time listening to predominately white graduate school teachers.
The solution to a problem requires an accurate assessment of the cause. In this case, the reported causes are sick grandparents and siblings and too many white teachers. And, well, the pandemic.
Not an easy fix. But perhaps doable. But are these the real reasons that our kids skip school?
The same day, the Review-Journal also reported on UNLV awarding an engineering doctorate degree and special commendation for excellence to a Black man from Uganda who overcame daunting challenges to accomplish exceptionalism. Perhaps the Black scholar had healthy grandparents and siblings and was able to avoid white teachers at UNLV.
Or maybe he pulled it off by cutting class.