David Griffith, Senior Research and Policy Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, has released a new study that analyzes teacher absenteeism in public schools amidst renewed interest in this public policy issue as states formulate and submit their new ESSA accountability plans. Many states plan on using chronic student absenteeism as a measure of school quality—but what (this study asks) about chronic teacher absenteeism? Previous studies by R. Miller et al. (2007), C. Clotfelter et al. (2007), and M. Herrmann and J. Rockoff (2010) examined the relationship between teacher absenteeism and student achievement and found a strong connection between the two. In fact, there appears to be a one-to-one relationship: a ten-day increase in teacher absence results in at least a ten-day learning loss for students. Griffith’s research adds to this body of work by answering three primary questions:
Had you told me 10 years ago that I would become a teacher, let alone, go back to my high school to teach, I would’ve looked at you like you had three heads. The only thought on my mind was becoming the next big news anchor and, like many other teenagers, how far I could move away from home upon graduation. But here I was, walking back into Principal Bernardo Montero’s office looking to start my career in the world of Academica. Without a doubt, I was welcomed with open arms and my love for education began. I should’ve known education would become my passion, after all, both my grandmother and aunt are educators.