Letter to the Editor — Teachers can’t teach empty seats

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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Dear Editor,

We often read about Governor Glenn Youngkin’s displeasure regarding student test results. Yet there is rarely mention of the absenteeism rate among students. There is, in fact, in some reports a reference to a rather high percentage of students who are chronically absent.

The governor places great emphasis on the role of parents — parents matter, as he is wont to say. They do indeed matter, and one of their first responsibilities should be school attendance for their children. Woody Allen reminded us that 70% of success in life is showing up. Teachers can’t teach them if they are not there.

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Perhaps the governor might use his influence with parents to bring attention to this issue and thus achieve the test results that would be less disappointing to him.

My experience as an English teacher in Fairfax County, two years in the U.S. Department of Defense Schools in Germany and 15 years as a sub-school principal at Robinson Secondary School account for my strong feelings. Supportive parents made a difference in both my success and their children’s success.

Rita Morgan Stone