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Links of the Day:

– Rochester’s interim superintendent Bolgen Vargas brought up truancy when he discussed the district’s abysmal graduation results. How can students learn when they’re not in school?

The problem starts in kindergarten. Vargas says only about 80 percent of kindergartners show up on a regular basis. That’s why Assemblyman David Gantt and State Senator Joe Robach have introduced bills calling for mandatory kindergarten attendance in the city. Those kids are already getting a start on a school career marked by chronic absenteeism.

Very few parents will say they don’t value education or want their children to succeed. But putting those ideals into practice is clearly an issue. Many parents of kindergartners are barely out of their teens themselves. Many are dealing with poverty, multiple jobs and housing stresses. Somewhere along the line, the importance of going to school is getting lost.

Vargas can knock on as many doors as he wants to get kids to come to school. But changing a culture is much more difficult.

Update: I did a story on this topic today for 13WHAM News.

– How big of a problem is synthetic marijuana? The Democrat and Chronicle goes looking for it in stores and doesn’t find it. It also found few cases of overdoses and severe reactions at local emergency rooms.

– Inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility got their associates degrees, thanks to Warren Buffett’s sister.

It’s hard for the media to cover the state capital with fewer resources. 

Mitt Romney is all about school vouchers, though he doesn’t use the word.

– Kodak is putting its patents up for auction. In a court filing, the company admits it has had trouble attracting a bidder. This is not a good sign. Read the filing below.

4 Responses to The Truant Kindergartner

  1. June 12, 2012 at 11:46 am Kevin Yost responds:

    Kids of all grade levels need to attend school within the state-required age requirements.

  2. June 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm Lynn E responds:

    Kindergarten isn’t mandatory in New York State. Don’t discriminate against the poor. Either make it mandatory for all or keep it as is. The problem is poverty and school is becoming less and less a place of sanctuary and more a place where kids and families are further judged as failures. Stop the abuse and make school a pleasant place to be.

  3. June 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm don vaccaro responds:

    i think early education — pre-school and kindergarten — is very important. having said that, if it’s voluntary (i.e., not mandatory,) then kids are not “truant” if their parents choose not to send them.

  4. Pingback: What should a 21st Century school look like? A proposal for a public charter makerspace in Rochester, NY. | Fearlessly Flipping the Educational Paradigm

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