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OPINION
October 19, 2013
Re “Truancy is just a symptom,” Opinion, Oct. 13 Ellie Herman's Op-Ed article on truancy brought back many classroom memories from my days as a public school teacher and counselor. She wrote movingly of her students' real-life challenges making it to school, and she correctly summarized why any one-pronged solution to this complex problem is delusional and why criminalizing truancy is ineffective at best. We need to identify and then fix the root problems that lead to truancy and the ill effects that ripple throughout society and affect us all. Fortunately, good, solid work has been done toward that end. Under the direction of Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Nash, the School Attendance Task Force - a Project of the L.A. Education Coordinating Council - has explored ways to fight truancy based on best practices and research.
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OPINION
March 13, 2014
Re "Harris calls truancy a 'crisis,'" March 11 Truancy is one of those easy metrics to monitor, if not control. Harder is providing the kind of education that makes students - wait for it, wait for it - want to go to class. Large school-system bureaucracies lack the administrative agility and wisdom to challenge the assumption that it's normal for kids to hate school. "But at least we can force them to come to school" is the lazy response. The problem isn't that kids fail to attend; it is that our schools fail to give them a reason to attend that makes sense to them.
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OPINION
October 4, 2013
Re "Taking roll in California," Opinion, Sept. 30 It's good to see California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris team up with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to sound the alarm about truancy. Truancy predicts crime. It's a lot easier to get kids back to school than it is to deal with the aftermath for the rest of their lives. Harris and Duncan suggest a tough policy: "Hold accountable everyone who bears responsibility for getting kids to school. " But as former L.A. Unified School District Supt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO - Warning that truancy has reached a crisis level in California elementary schools, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and half a dozen lawmakers proposed a raft of bills Monday aimed at keeping kids in school. Harris said 30% of elementary school students were truant in the 2012-13 school year. "California's Constitution guarantees our children the right to an education, yet our elementary schools face a truancy crisis," Harris said. "When children in kindergarten through sixth grade miss school, they fall behind and too many never catch up. " A child is considered truant after missing school or being tardy by more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions during a school year.
OPINION
March 13, 2014
Re "Harris calls truancy a 'crisis,'" March 11 Truancy is one of those easy metrics to monitor, if not control. Harder is providing the kind of education that makes students - wait for it, wait for it - want to go to class. Large school-system bureaucracies lack the administrative agility and wisdom to challenge the assumption that it's normal for kids to hate school. "But at least we can force them to come to school" is the lazy response. The problem isn't that kids fail to attend; it is that our schools fail to give them a reason to attend that makes sense to them.
NEWS
October 3, 2013 | By Ted Rall
1 out of 4 California elementary school students was truant last year. School districts lost $1.4 billion in state education funding as a result. So now schools are rounding them up. Oh, and they need an education too. ALSO: Baca's bad choice The charter school mistake How California should deal with truancy Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
OPINION
September 9, 2012
Re "Taking care of truants," Editorial, Sept. 6 My sixth-graders apparently got the news that police have stopped writing tickets for truancy. Their response? Lunch at Panda Express. Think they ever came back for fifth period? But hey, it's only truancy. City and school officials are sending a message that The Times endorses: Truancy is not worth enforcing with material punishment. Instead, schools and service agencies should now "address root causes" for the behavior. Why open that door?
OPINION
October 13, 2013 | By Ellie Herman
He was 15 years old but looked 12, a reedy, pale little guy with a mop of dark hair. When he stood in front of the class to tell his story, he was so nervous you could see his skinny legs trembling under his khakis. The drama class assignment was to tell a story about a minor life event that led to some new realization about the world - an assignment designed both to help the kids get over their shyness and to teach the meaning of the word "epiphany. " The "minor" life event the boy chose to relay was the time his father, addicted to meth and hallucinating, threw himself out a fourth-story window and died.
NATIONAL
May 31, 2012 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- A Texas judge has set aside contempt charges against a 17-year-old Houston-area honor student jailed for missing too much school as she worked to support her family. Last week, Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty sent 11th-grader Diane Tran to jail for 24 hours and ordered her to pay a $100 fine for excessive truancy. The ruling came after Tran had been issued a warning by a judge last month about her absences. The honor student had been working two jobs to support her two siblings after her parents divorced.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 1996
Lennox sheriff's deputies will kick off an anti-truancy campaign today by combing the city streets for students playing hooky. Under the county truancy law, which was recently amended by the Board of Supervisors to include a daytime curfew that requires students to be in class from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., any minor who is absent from class without a parental excuse can be fined up to $250.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- Warning that elementary school truancy in California has reached a crisis level, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris and lawmakers on Monday proposed a package of bills aimed at improving the tracking of absenteeism and the evaluation and use of measures to keep kids in school. Harris estimated that 1 million elementary school students are truant each year and 250,000 of them miss 18 or more school days costing school districts $1.4 billion. In all, 30% of elementary school students were truant during the 2012-2013 school year, she said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
Los Angeles school police have sharply curtailed the number of tickets issued for truancy to L.A. Unified students by 93.7% over the last four years, reflecting a step back from punitive disciplinary practices, according to a new report. The report, by the Community Rights Campaign - an organizing effort to shift student disciplinary actions from police to schools and communities - also found that tickets for all offenses plunged by 54.8% from 2011-12 to 2012-13. But African Americans and Latinos still receive a disproportionate number of tickets: Blacks were almost six times and Latinos were twice as likely to be ticketed than whites, according to the report released last week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
Los Angeles school police have sharply curtailed the number of tickets issued for truancy to L.A. Unified students by 93.7% over the last four years, reflecting a step back from punitive disciplinary practices, according to a new report . The report, by the Community Rights Campaign, an organizing effort to shift student disciplinary actions from police to schools and communities, also found that tickets for all offenses plunged by 54.8% from...
OPINION
October 19, 2013
Re “Truancy is just a symptom,” Opinion, Oct. 13 Ellie Herman's Op-Ed article on truancy brought back many classroom memories from my days as a public school teacher and counselor. She wrote movingly of her students' real-life challenges making it to school, and she correctly summarized why any one-pronged solution to this complex problem is delusional and why criminalizing truancy is ineffective at best. We need to identify and then fix the root problems that lead to truancy and the ill effects that ripple throughout society and affect us all. Fortunately, good, solid work has been done toward that end. Under the direction of Juvenile Court Presiding Judge Michael Nash, the School Attendance Task Force - a Project of the L.A. Education Coordinating Council - has explored ways to fight truancy based on best practices and research.
OPINION
October 13, 2013 | By Ellie Herman
He was 15 years old but looked 12, a reedy, pale little guy with a mop of dark hair. When he stood in front of the class to tell his story, he was so nervous you could see his skinny legs trembling under his khakis. The drama class assignment was to tell a story about a minor life event that led to some new realization about the world - an assignment designed both to help the kids get over their shyness and to teach the meaning of the word "epiphany. " The "minor" life event the boy chose to relay was the time his father, addicted to meth and hallucinating, threw himself out a fourth-story window and died.
OPINION
October 4, 2013
Re "Taking roll in California," Opinion, Sept. 30 It's good to see California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris team up with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to sound the alarm about truancy. Truancy predicts crime. It's a lot easier to get kids back to school than it is to deal with the aftermath for the rest of their lives. Harris and Duncan suggest a tough policy: "Hold accountable everyone who bears responsibility for getting kids to school. " But as former L.A. Unified School District Supt.
NEWS
December 26, 1986
The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People is organizing a national program to reduce truancy and school dropout rates among adolescents. The campaign is to be called "Back-to-School/Stay-in-School." The program is supported by a grant from the Readers Digest Foundation. The NAACP has established a new department to coordinate the program. The department will be headed by Aileen James of Long Island, N.Y.
OPINION
September 30, 2013 | By Arne Duncan and Kamala D. Harris
Millions of desks sit empty in elementary school classrooms because of truancy each year, costing schools billions of dollars, wasting public resources and squandering one of the country's most precious resources: its young people. We tend to think of truancy as something that starts in junior high or high school, but nationwide, about 1 in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students miss a month of school each year due to absences. In California, you could fill Staples Center 13 times over with the 250,000 students who missed 18 days or more last year.
NEWS
October 3, 2013 | By Ted Rall
1 out of 4 California elementary school students was truant last year. School districts lost $1.4 billion in state education funding as a result. So now schools are rounding them up. Oh, and they need an education too. ALSO: Baca's bad choice The charter school mistake How California should deal with truancy Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
OPINION
September 30, 2013 | By Arne Duncan and Kamala D. Harris
Millions of desks sit empty in elementary school classrooms because of truancy each year, costing schools billions of dollars, wasting public resources and squandering one of the country's most precious resources: its young people. We tend to think of truancy as something that starts in junior high or high school, but nationwide, about 1 in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students miss a month of school each year due to absences. In California, you could fill Staples Center 13 times over with the 250,000 students who missed 18 days or more last year.
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