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Bruno: Twenty Days Out Of School Limits Instructional Time, Obv.

Absent-class-in-class-mentally-present-Favim.com-275054John's recent post on chronic absenteeism reminded me of a study out recently on elementary schools engaging in "comprehensive school reform" initiatives. This wasn't their main focus, but the authors determined that in these relatively low-income, urban schools students missed 20 days worth of instruction on average every year. That's more than 10% of a typical 180-day school year.

Notably, the 20-day figure includes both student and teacher absences, and it's probably not right to assume that students get no instruction at all when their teacher is absent. Still, a substitute is a highly imperfect replacement for a regular classroom teacher and it's not like everything works at 100% efficiency even when everybody's present. So we're talking about a lot of lost instructional time in any case.

I don't really have a deeper point here except to remind everybody that however little time kids are spending in school, the amount of time they're being meaningfully taught is smaller still. - PB (@MrPABruno) (image source)

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It’s a problem that plagues education now, that plagued our education growing up. Teachers that don’t engage or exert too much energy engaging can’t really teach.

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