Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers missed an average of 11 days of class in 2012-13, matching the national average, according to a national report on teacher absenteeism released recently.
The National Council on Teacher Quality looked at teacher absenteeism rates in the largest district in each of the 40 biggest metropolitan areas. The organization advocates for reforms that would improve teacher quality.
Results found that teachers in those 40 areas missed an average of 11 days of class in 2012-13, although the rates varied widely by district.
Oklahoma City’s 2,286 teachers fell right at the national average, while Indianapolis’ 2,041 teachers were absent an average of six days.
The 2,896 teachers in Cleveland missed the most time, with an average of 16 days absent.
The report also looked at chronic absenteeism.
Chronic absenteeism hurts
NCTQ says chronic teacher absenteeism, or teachers missing more than 18 days, can negatively impact students since their teachers are missing about 10 percent of the school year.
The council found about 16 percent of teachers missed 18 or more days of classes nationally. In Oklahoma, that rate was slightly higher, at nearly 18 percent.
In Buffalo, N.Y., by contrast, nearly 37 percent of the district’s 2,382 teachers missed 18 or more days of school, the worst rate in the nation. At the same time, Buffalo had the second highest percentage of teachers missing three or fewer days of school. About 30 percent of teachers missed fewer than three days.
Indianapolis had about 3 percent of its teachers missing 18 or more days, the best rate in the nation. It led the nation in teachers missing three or fewer days, with nearly 37 percent.
Columbus, Ohio, had 3 percent of its 2,151 teachers miss three or fewer days of school, the lowest rate in the nation.
Oklahoma City had about 17 percent of teachers miss three or fewer days of school. The national average was 16 percent.
Nationally, about 39 percent of absences were classified as sick leave, 32 percent were personal leave, 20 percent were professional leave and 9 percent were “other.”
The report also found absentee rates did not differ between districts with incentives meant to promote better teacher attendance and districts without such incentives.
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