The ‘Get Schooled’ challenge to stay in school

4 Sep

In School Absenteeism: Absent from the classroom leads to absence from participation in this society, moi said:

Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process.

Lisa Leff of AP wrote the article, New attendance push prized by students, educators for USA Today:

“Students who are getting a ‘B’ and are OK with a ‘B,’ they think it’s in their rights to skip school now and then,” said Berkeley High School Attendance Dean Daniel Roose, who offered a movie night to the grade-level boasting the best attendance last semester. “I’ve tried to challenge those kids and their families to change the mindset that you aren’t impacting anyone but yourself when you skip.”

The rewards are designed to supplement courts, mentors and other interventions for addressing serious truancy. They direct attention to what education experts call “chronic absenteeism,” which applies to students who miss 10% of their classes for any reason and may even have parental permission to be out of school.

To counter slumping attendance that tends to worsen as adolescents get older, about 200 middle and high schools in 17 states will be competing this fall in a challenge organized by Get Schooled, a New York-based nonprofit that uses computer games, weekly wake-up recordings from popular singers and actors, and social media messages to get students to show up in the name of school spirit.

Get Schooled” has a lot of information about school attendance at their site.

This how “Get Schooled” describes its purpose:

Getting a great education has never been more important.  Getting a job requires at least a high school diploma, and for many jobs you also need some kind of education after high school – whether a four year college degree or a technical certificate.  But not enough young people are actually getting the education they need.  Millions drop out of high school and even more will drop out of college.

Get Schooled is a non-profit focused on reversing this trend by directly engaging and empowering young people to take control of their own education.  We do this by using the power of media, technology and popular culture to motivate young people to graduate from high school and go to — and succeed in — college.

  • We connect with young people through the digital and social media sites that are a part of how they spend each day.
  • We work directly with hundreds of middle and high schools around the country to inspire school leaders and motivate students to become engaged in their school communities and ultimately improve their attendance rates.  Strategies include national attendance competitions, contests, andteacher recognition initiatives.
  • We partner with cities and school districts interested in leading their students to improve attendance and/or address college affordability issues.  
  • Wepartner with national and regional media organizations to get the word out.  Our core partner is Viacom – including Paramount Pictures, BET and Viacom media channels including MTV, VH1, CMT and Nickelodeon. 
  • Talent plays a critical role in Get Schooled’s work.   Whether a voice recording to encourage a student to go to school, surprising a school with a visit, or serving as principal for a day, our celebrity ambassadors engage and reward young people eager to succeed in school and life. 

In just a short time, we’ve engaged with more than one million young people in schools, communities and online.  Read our 2011 Annual Report and then Check out the video clip to see Get Schooled in action.


  • Since the fall of 2010, Get Schooled has connected with 1.5 million Americans in their communities 
  • More than 170 middle and high schools across the U.S. have raised their overal average attendance rates with some schools by more than 8 percent 
  • More than 100 thousand students have used our free Facebook app (My College Dollars) since its launch with MTV and the College Board. The app matches students with scholarships and helps them learn the ins and outs of completing the FAFSA and qualifying for grants and low-cost loans. 
  • The 2011 Get Schooled Def Jam Rapstar contest recorded over 280,000video views, votes and comments.
  • The 2011 Get Schooled Summer Text Challenge engaged over 350,000 young people to hilight their educational goals for the future.
  • in 2010, Get Schooled teamed up with Mindless Behavior for the Mindless Behavior Get Schooled Tour that reached 3 million nationwide

Johns Hopkins University has released a study of school absenteeism.

In Johns Hopkins University report about school absenteeism, moi wrote:

John Hopkins has released the report, The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools. Here is a summary from Everyone Graduates Center:


Chronic absenteeism is not the same as truancy or average daily attendance – the attendance rate schools use for state report cards and federal accountability. Chronic absenteeism means missing 10 percent of a school year for any reason. A school can have average daily attendance of 90 percent and still have 40 percent of its students chronically absent, because on different days, different students make up that 90 percent.

Data from only six states address this issue: Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Rhode Island. How these states measure chronic absenteeism, however, differs by number of days and by whether or not data include transfer students.

Such limited data produce only an educated guess at the size of the nation’s attendance challenge: A national rate of 10 percent chronic absenteeism seems conservative and it could be as high as 15 percent, meaning that 5 million to 7.5 million students are chronically absent. Looking at this more closely sharpens the impact. In Maryland, for instance, there are 58 elementary schools that have 50 or more chronically absent students; that is, two classrooms of students who miss more than a month of school a year. In a high school, where chronic absenteeism is higher, there are 61 schools where 250 or more students are missing a month or more of school.

The six states reported chronic absentee rates from 6 percent to 23 percent, with high poverty urban areas reporting up to one-third of students chronically absent. In poor rural areas, one in four students can miss at least a month’s worth of school. The negative impact chronic absenteeism has on school success is increased because students who are chronically absent in one year are often chronically absent in multiple years. As a result, particularly in high poverty areas, significant numbers of students are missing amounts of school that are staggering: on the order of six months to over a year, over a five year period.

Chronic absenteeism is most prevalent among low-income students. Gender and ethnic background do not appear to play a role in this. The youngest and the oldest students tend to have the highest rates of chronic absenteeism, with students attending most regularly in third through fifth grades. Chronic absenteeism begins to rise in middle school and continues climbing through 12th grade, with seniors often having the highest rate of all. The data also suggest that chronic absenteeism is concentrated in relatively few schools, with 15 percent of schools in Florida, for example, accounting for at least half of all chronically absent students.

Missing school matters:

  • In a nationally representative data set, chronic absence in kindergarten was associated with lower academic performance in first grade. The impact is twice as great for students from low-income families.
  • A Baltimore study found a strong relationship between sixth-grade attendance and the percentage of students graduating on time or within a year of their expected high school graduation.
  • Chronic absenteeism increases achievement gaps at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
  • Because students reared in poverty benefit the most from being in school, one of the most effective strategies for providing pathways out of poverty is to do what it takes to get these students in school every day. This alone, even without improvements in the American education system, will drive up achievement, high school graduation, and college attainment rates.

Students miss school for many reasons. These can, however, be divided into three broad categories:

  • Students who cannot attend school due to illness, family responsibilities, housing instability, the need to work or involvement with the juvenile justice system.
  • Students who will not attend school to avoid bullying, unsafe conditions, harassment and embarrassment.
  • Students who do not attend school because they, or their parents, do not see the value in being there, they have something else they would rather do, or nothing stops them from skipping school.

Despite being pervasive, though overlooked, chronic absenteeism is raising flags in some schools and communities. This awareness is leading to attendance campaigns that are so vigorous and comprehensive they pay off quickly. Examples of progress nationally and at state, district, and school levels give hope to the challenge of chronic absenteeism, besides being models for others.

In addition to these efforts, both the federal government, state departments of education, and school districts need to regularly measure and report the rates of chronic absenteeism and regular attendance (missing five days or less a year) for every school. State and district policies need to encourage every student to attend school every day and support school districts, schools, non-profits, communities, and parents in using evidence-based strategies to act upon these data to propel all students to attend school daily. Mayors and governors have critical roles to play in leading inter-agency task forces that bring health, housing, justice, transportation, and education agencies together to organize coordinated efforts to help every student attend every day.

Download the Full Report

Download the full report, available here in pdf.

Download the presentation tool, available here as a  PowerPoint show.

Report Coverage in the News

New York Times

Huffington Post

Resources from the Johns Hopkins report:

For Schools

For Parents

For City Leaders

The disintegration of the family has profound implications for the education success of children.

It is going to take coordination between not only education institutions, but a strong social support system to get many of these children through school. This does not mean a large program directed from Washington. But, more resources at the local school level which allow discretion with accountability. For example, if I child is not coming to school because they have no shoes or winter coat, then the child gets new shoes and/or a coat. School breakfast and lunch programs must be supported and if necessary, expanded. Unfortunately, schools are now the early warning system for many families in crisis.


Don’t skip: Schools waking up on absenteeism

School Absenteeism, Mental Health Problems Linked

A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades


US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments

The ABCs of Ready to Learn

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn

Ebony Magazine’s How to Prepare Your Child for Success

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

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