Teaching Profession Report Roundup

Teacher-Absence Rates Found to Vary Across Big-City School Districts

By Stephen Sawchuk — June 10, 2014 1 min read

America’s big-city districts have widely different teacher-attendance rates, according to a new analysis based on data from 40 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas.

Overall, teachers in those districts were at school 94 percent of their scheduled hours in 2012-13. But a minority of teachers—16 percent—were missing for days on end.

Researchers from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group, examined only short-term absences, excluding from the sample long-term leave taken for serious illness or for maternity/paternity leave but not for professional development. Their study found that:

• The average teacher was absent 11 days per school year.

• Teachers in Indianapolis; the District of Columbia; Louisville, Ky; Milwaukee; and Tampa, Fla., had the highest attendance rates (an average of fewer than nine days out). Teachers in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Nashville, Tenn.; Portland, Ore.; and Jacksonville, Fla., had the lowest attendance rates (14 or more days out).

• Nearly 16 percent of teachers are “chronically absent,” or miss 18 or more days of school a year. Another 16 percent of teachers missed just three or fewer days.

• Teachers in the highest-poverty schools were generally no more likely to be absent than those in schools with fewer disadvantaged students—a finding that conflicts with prior research.

Attendance rates didn’t seem to differ based on whether or not districts used incentives, such as payment for unused sick leave or including attendance as an element in teachers’ evaluations.

A version of this article appeared in the June 11, 2014 edition of Education Week as Teacher-Absence Rates Found Vary Across Big-City School Districts


School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession 4 Ways Districts Are Giving Teachers More Flexibility in Their Jobs
After a year-plus of pandemic schooling, some experts are seeing momentum for district leaders to reimagine what teaching can look like.
11 min read
Teacher working at home in front of camera.
Teaching Profession New Teaching Jobs May Emerge With Continued Demand for Virtual Learning
As school districts plan for online learning to continue beyond the pandemic, they'll need teachers to staff those virtual classrooms.
4 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion It's Teacher Appreciation Week. Flowers? Mugs? We're Looking for Something More
This year, teachers were hailed as heroes then denounced as obstructionists, say seven State Teachers of the Year. Here’s what they need.
Owen Bondono, Alisa Cooper de Uribe, Amanda Hargreaves, Kimberly Hee Stock, Justin Johnson, Susan Rosato & Jennifer Wolfe
4 min read
Illustration of a mug.
Collage by Laura Baker and Elizabeth Rich/Education Week (Image sources: mustafahacalaki/DigitalVisionVectors and E+)
Teaching Profession Teacher Salaries Are Increasing. See How Your State Compares
The National Education Association warns that some of the progress in teacher pay could be jeopardized by the pandemic.
2 min read
Teacher Salary Rankings 04262021 943331302
iStock/Getty Images Plus