March 31, 2011
Contact: University Relations
Barbara Babb, director of the University of Baltimore's Center for Families, Children and the Courts and associate professor in the UB School of Law, and her colleague, Gloria Danziger, senior fellow at the center, are reacting to recent news coverage about key improvements to public schools in Baltimore by pointing out that chronic absenteeism remains a serious issue. In a letter in the March 31 edition of the Baltimore Sun, Babb and Danziger acknowledge the continuing successes of local schools, but say that truancy is still "rampant."
"Without significant improvement in school attendance, all of our hard-earned achievement is diminished," their letter says. "What can we do to address this crisis? First and foremost, we must develop and implement a continuum of interventions that position schools to become involved the first time a child misses school without an excuse and that continues to intercede in those cases where children miss school for weeks, months and even years."
CFCC operates the Truancy Court Program, a non-punitive, holistic approach to bringing truant students back into the classroom using volunteers, teaching and administrative staff, and sitting judges who give their time to meet with troubled students.
Read the letter.