The Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism and School Engagement has launched the nation’s boldest, most comprehensive effort to combat truancy and chronic absenteeism in NYC’s public schools. Established by Mayor Bloomberg in 2010 in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, the Task Force has piloted innovative, data-driven programs and policies in 100 pilot schools to help identify best practices for schools citywide.
The results have been promising: during the 2011-2012 school year, Task Force schools outperformed comparison schools across elementary, middle and high schools in reducing chronic absenteeism. In fact, chronically absent students with Success Mentors, one of the core initiatives, gained 11,800 additional days of school as compared to chronically absent students at comparison schools.
Research shows that the consequences of chronic absenteeism are severe: three out of four students who are severely chronically absent – meaning they missed 38 or more days of school – in the sixth grade never graduate from high school. In addition, nearly 80 percent of children in New York City’s juvenile justice system were chronically absent in the period preceding their arrest.
Chronic absenteeism is not solely a Department of Education issue. Because the causes of chronic absenteeism are complex and varied, it is a city-wide and community-wide issue that requires strategic collaboration of key city agencies and other multi-sector organizations.
Download an Infographic About Truancy and Absenteeism in (PDF)
Download an overview of the Truancy Task Force (in PDF)