Absent teachers

Chicago teachers with the neediest students are the most likely to skip school, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Teachers endured curses from pupils at Jensen Scholastic Academy last year, and one took a punch from a parent. They dodged puddles in classrooms caused by a leaky ceiling. Their principal ignored the problems, they say, and publicly punished those who complained.

So teachers took “mental health days.”

The turmoil at Jensen translated into the second-worst teacher absence rate in the system, with the average teacher gone 28 days, or nearly six weeks out of a 39-week work year.

At the worst Chicago school, teachers missed an average of 35 days a year. At the best school, a small Montessori magnet, teachers missed an average two days a year. At 15 of 22 schools at which teacher absenteeism averaged more than 20 days a year, all the students are black.

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