On March 10, 2015, Judith Sandalow, executive director of Children’s Law Center, testified at performance oversight hearing for the Deputy Mayor of Education. She advocated that the District needs a comprehensive school engagement plan.
Some of the changes recommended were:
- Improve the school climate and student engagement at high truancy schools;
- Strengthen existing school-based early interventions;
- Implement evidence-based programs proven to reduce truancy;
- Expand mental health services to all schools;
- Revise the “80/20 rule” to allow schools to better distinguish between students who are chronically tardy and chronically absent;
- Employ more effective methods for preventing and addressing misbehavior;
- Require meaningful school- or community-based intervention before students can be referred to court for poor school attendance.