Absent Minds: Students and Teachers Are Ditching School in Great Numbers

Published September 11, 2023
empty science classroom

In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education released a report titled “A Nation at Risk,” which was an important point in the history of American education. The document used dire language, asserting that “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.”

The report also stated: “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

If this was a wake-up call, the powers that be shut the alarm off and went back to sleep.

In November 2022, the National Assessment of Educational Progress results were released for the test taken earlier in the year and showed that just 33% of the nation’s fourth graders are proficient in reading, and 36% are proficient in math. The eighth graders did even worse: 31% are proficient in reading, while 26% show proficiency in math.

Accordingly, a recent Gallup poll revealed that just 26% of Americans have a “great deal/fair amount” of confidence in public schools.

Hence, it should come as no surprise that a recent report issued by Stanford University finds that between the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years, “the share of students chronically absent (missing 10% or greater of the total number of days enrolled during the school year)grew by 13.5 percentage points—a 91-percent increase that implies an additional 6.5 million students are now chronically absent.” The findings also note that chronic absenteeism has affected every state, varying from 4% to 22%.

Though most states have not released their chronic absenteeism numbers for the 2022-2023 school year, some states are reporting that the problem has not been alleviated, according to the AP. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, for example, chronic absenteeism numbers remained double what they were prior to the pandemic.

There are many explanations for the ballooning truancy. While the hysterical response to Covid is blamed for the missing kids, no one is offering a solid reason as to why kids did not flock back after the schools reopened in 2021.

Other commonly held reasons include bullying, depression, etc., but there are other factors. Many parents are fed up with increasing school-orchestrated indoctrination, whether it be Critical Race Theory, revised American history, transgender ideology, etc. Just a few of the countless examples:

-In California, the new math framework contends that mathematics should be used to “both understand and impact the world.” It argues that math teachers should hold the political position that “mathematics plays a role in the power structures and privileges that exist within our society and can support action and positive change.”

-Rhode Island’s current social studies standards define “how power can be distributed and used to create a more equitable society for communities and individuals based on their intersectional identities.”

-In Oregon, the State Department of Education’s health standards may soon require sixth-grade students to be able to define “sexual and romantic orientations” and “vaginal, oral, and anal sex” if implemented.

And it’s not only students who are who are ditching school.