Strong article from Michael Kelley on the huge decline in truancy in MCS.
Good work by the School Safety Department to reduce truancy since 2009-10 by 65%. Mr. Kelley writes that by working with its partners in the Shelby County Juvenile Court, the District Attorney General's Office, the Department of Children's Services, and the Department of Human Services, MCS implemented "innovative efforts that reduced the number of truancy incidents districtwide from 11,111 in the 2009-2010 school year to 3,857 in 2011-2012."
Over 11,000 to less than 4,000.
Mr. Kelley gets at one of the strongest criticisms regarding how truants manage to stay truant - where are the parents in all of this? The government agencies that wrap around the families of persistently truant students are serious: "The Department of Human Services holds a hammer with its authority to withhold public benefits from parents who don't make an effort to keep their children in school."
That it ever got that bad in the first place is disturbing. But the progress is substantial and significant. We have to hope that these kinds of partnerships and relationships between district staff and other agencies can be continued in the merged district.