While Republicans and the National Education Association—the largest teachers union and a traditional Democratic ally— have balked at so-called accountability measures as too restrictive, civil-rights groups have said they are essential to ensuring that children from all backgrounds have access to high quality education.
One area where groups such as the Center for American Progress have called for greater school accountability is truancy. Students of color are disproportionately likely to be absent from school.
There's no easy way to keep students from skipping class, but in a new report, the Center for American Progress proposes a few options to decrease truancy.
1. Better Data
This sounds obvious, but right now, there is no national, standard definition for truancy. In California, truancy is when a student misses "more than 30 minutes of instruction without an excuse three times during the school year." But the definition is vague in New Jersey, reading that any child who is "repeatedly" absent may be considered truant. No Child Left Behind mandates that states that receive federal aid track truancy rates, but these are hard to analyze because the definitions vary so widely.
2. Wraparound Services