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National Public Radio featured Sociology Professor Mariajose Romero in "School Attendance In The COVID Era: What Counts As 'Present'?"

09/24/2020

National Public Radio featured Sociology Professor Mariajose Romero in "School Attendance In The COVID Era: What Counts As 'Present'?"

The carrot and the stick

Mariajose Romero, a Pace University sociologist who has researched attendance for decades, calls it "a piece of information that has tremendous political currency," which only intensified when it became a measure of school accountability. Not only students, but also schools, succeed or fail based on the students who show up every day. And so, "it's important to count people properly."

...

Of course, this raises the question of who is extended this kind of "creative" leniency. Romero, at Pace University, worries that high-income schools may be more likely than those in poor neighborhoods to provide excused absences for, say, a mid-year vacation. Meanwhile, she adds, "sometimes I'm concerned that the issue of chronic absence is used to demonise families in need."

Listen to the NPR segment.