Public schools are being expected to have 95 percent of their students tested and graded or else they are considered to be a failing school. The tests those students take are considered part of the grading process used to judge the quality of the teaching taking place in those schools. Gov. Gary Herbert has proclaimed September as Attendance Awareness Month in our schools because 13.5 percent of our students miss approximately 15 percent or more days of a typical school year.
So we have students taking tests, and using those test results to grade a school, who miss enough class time that their test scores will drop, and yet that is going to be the fault of the teacher? Am I missing something here?
This is the elephant in the room that no one, legislators and education officials, chooses to acknowledge. Why not drop the scores of those students who miss 20 percent of class time, based on attendance, and then judge the effectiveness of that teacher? Even in the private sector, if an employee doesn't show up they get fired. We can't fire students but we can at least not punish teachers for those students who refuse to attend.