In Providence, Teachers not just Students are Chronically Absent

Jun 4, 2014

Nearly a quarter of Providence’s public school teachers are chronically absent, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Overall, teachers in Providence miss an average of nearly 13 days per school year, the 8th highest average in the study, higher than Baltimore, New York and Newark.

A total of 40 large school districts submitted data for the study, which looked at teacher attendance in major metropolitan areas.

The study found that a small minority of teachers, about 16 percent across the country, are responsible for more than a third of all absences.

The study defined chronic absenteeism as teachers who miss 18 days or more in a single school year. Teachers on long term medical or family leave were left out of the statistics.

Not surprisingly, long teacher absences have been shown to have a negative effect on students. The National Council on Teacher Quality says the study was aimed at persuading more school districts to pay closer attention to teacher attendance.

Some critics have pointed out that teacher absentee rates can be misleading, because some teachers miss school days for school and district-ordered teacher training, which is aimed at benefiting students.

Overall, the highest absentee rate in the study was in Cleveland Ohio, where teachers missed an average of more than 15 days per year. Teachers in Indianapolis missed the fewest days, just about six a year on average.