Pittsburg Schools On Alert as Chronic Absenteeism Rates Set to Increase this Year

Pittsburg Schools On Alert as Chronic Absenteeism Rates Set to Increase this Year

January 27, 2020

According to data presented to the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) board last week, “chronic absenteeism was set to increase by nearly 3%,” raising concerns among district officials. According to Ted Dwyer, chief of data, research, assessment and accountability for PPS, chronically absent students—those who miss more than 10% of school days—“face difficulties because they do not have the same access to educational opportunities as their peers.” While the attendance rate for the 2019-20 school year dropped to 91.4%, “the chronic absence rate in the district was at 28.1%, up from 25.4% in 2018-19 and 23.8% in 2017-18.” However, some education officials are pointing to “potential inaccuracies in attendance data collected by the district,” citing an increased focus on chronic absence after the state “began aligning its data collection with the Every Student Succeeds Act.”