Low Attendance Mirrors Low Test Scores in D.C.

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Credit: Office of Councilmember David A Catania

Credit: Office of Councilmember David A Catania

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Councilmember David Catania participated in a roundtable discussion Thursday aimed at bringing awareness to soaring truancy rates in the public school system and the alarming effects they have on future success.

“Truancy Reduction in D.C. Public School System Year 2012-13″ was the name of the roundtable put on by Committee of the Whole. The committee heard testimony from public and government witnesses which included representatives from the police department, Child and Family Services Agency, and Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

“It is totally unacceptable that 10% of DCPS 9th graders would miss 10 or more school days in the first 35 days of the 2012-2013 school years,” said Councilmember Catania. “The connection between attending school and academic proficiency is clear.”

According to data from the 2011-2012 school year provided by DCPS, those schools with high rates of truancy tend to have lower proficiency test scores and graduation rates.

The correlation is particularly strong in District high schools, as evidenced by the chart below:

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high school truancy office of councilmember david a catania1 Low Attendance Mirrors Low Test Scores in D.C.

Credit: Office of Councilmember David A Catania

“We do not help under resourced families by expecting less of them. The parents and guardians of truant students are relegating their children to a vastly diminished future.”

Catania pointed out the need to match truancy resources with those schools where truancy rates are the highest.

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graduation rates office of councilmember david a catania Low Attendance Mirrors Low Test Scores in D.C.

Credit: Office of Councilmember David A Catania

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