Tuesday, January 27, 2004

6% of Davidson County students suspended in 2001-2002 for excessive absences were Hispanic

"'My observation from listening to discussions in State Board of Education meetings and in the legislature is that attendance and truancy is not something that gets a lot of attention,' Ethel R. Detch, director of the Office of Educational Accountability for the state's comptroller of the Treasury, told me Thursday."

"When children don't go to school it becomes more and more difficult for them to catch up once they fall behind, Detch said."

"'In many cases, it's the circumstances,' she added. 'We've got a large and growing English learner population, and they may have more difficulty in coming to school. Also, there are some parents around the state that don't value education.'"

"According to the state comptroller's report, 3,109 students were suspended in Davidson County for truancy during the 2001-2002 school year. Among those, 1,175 were white, 1,647 were black, 186 Hispanic, 97 Asian and four Indian."

The Tennessean

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