Tuesday, August 23, 2011
ON TRUANCY LAW
Be sure the read the good column below by a journalist from North Platte.
We can't equate time in school with quality educational results. There just isn't an "input-output" relationship between those two things. Everybody seems to know that except Nebraska's educational policymakers, who recently put in a punitive new law regarding school absences that disregards minor details, like the student's gradepoint average.
Obviously, missing a lot of school hurts kids who don't have home support. But just as obviously, there's a WHOLE lot of learning to be done OUTSIDE of school walls, and if a student has average, good or great grades, then missing a lot of school, quite frankly, has not really been shown to hurt them in any way, and in fact, might make their educational experience even better.
I'm talking about kids who are nationally-ranked horsemanship competitors and have to travel around the country to get enough points to make the Olympics . . . kids whose families go to Africa for a month to build houses and farms for the dirt-poor . . . kids whose parents are on the ball enough to make sure they collect all their homework assignments in advance BEFORE they set off on that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia and New Zealand that couldn't be taken during the summer months.
If they were forced to skip those things or face prosecution by the local county attorney, that would be a net loss for education, and a net gain for . . . what? For the education bureaucracy? Now, what sense does THAT make?
Nebraska policymakers are all wet with their new truancy law, which doesn't get to the root of Nebraska's underachieving educational system's problems, but instead punishes normal, healthy families and students who -- imagine! -- are practicing the "lifelong learning" OUT of school that the schools and policymakers so ironically are always pushing.
Here's a good take on why we need to repeal the truancy law:
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