In total, nearly 9,000 children in Madison public schools missed more than 10% of the school year, a rate of absenteeism that can indicate broader problems facing children and puts them at risk of a serious, long-term disadvantage in learning.
Grelinda Isom’s four children are among those considered chronically absent. Isom herself has found the system a challenge to navigate as she tries to advocate for her children and their needs, she said, and each additional roadblock further drives a wedge between her family and the schools.
“The way they’re treated, them being heard, them crying out for help from trusted adults that they consider there for them, that they trust — they’re telling them what they need and their needs are still not being met,” she said, detailing Individualized Education Plans and safety plans going unfulfilled. “Mentally, physically it’s messing them up because they feel like no matter what they do, they’re not going to be heard or their needs are not going to be met.”
The chronic absenteeism rate is rising across Wisconsin and the country after the COVID-19 pandemic, with Madison’s fast-rising rates contributing to the trend. Across all Wisconsin schools, 22.7% of students missed enough days to be categorized as chronically absent in 2021-22, up from 12.7% in 2017-18.
Legislation and Reading: The Wisconsin Experience 2004-
“Well, it’s kind of too bad that we’ve got the smartest people at our universities, and yet we have to create a law to tell them how to teach.”
The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.
When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?