by Andrew Walden
New DoE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s first day August 1 BoE meeting featured a DOE HQ dog and pony show designed to exploit the DOE’s absenteeism rate for bureaucratic empire building.
The dog? DoE bureaucrats announce that the district is running a 20.05% student absenteeism rate. 33,079 students missed 15 or more days of the 2016-17 academic year.
The pony? A slide reading “Hypothesis: Many of these students are chronically absent because their health needs are largely not met.”
Maybe the pony is a Wai'anae unicorn.
According to the presentation Wai'anae High School absenteeism runs 46.41% meaning 808 students out of 1,741 missed 15 or more days. At Wai'anae Intermediate School absenteeism runs 48.77% meaning 418 students out of 857 miss 15 or more days.
HQ insiders steer Kishimoto to conclude that the solution is to throw money at the politically connected Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.
No Board member suggested that DoE student absenteeism is caused by DoE teacher absenteeism. According to Education Week June 27, 2016, Hawaii is number one in teacher absenteeism. Education Week reporter Sarah Sparks explains: “(Hawaii) had…80 schools where 9 out of 10 teachers are absent ten days or more."
HHN: Nurses Target School Absenteeism
CB: Will More Nurses in Hawaii Schools Help Keep Kids In Class?