CHICAGO - New data on truancy and high school dropouts in Chicago and Illinois was released at a briefing with state legislators and Chicago Public Schools today.
Datashows dropout rates in Chicago and Illinois ostensibly declining by nearly half between 2006 and 2012, while truancy and chronic truancy appear to have doubled between 2006 and 2009 and then after falling, shot up almost threefold in 2012.
Experts say a possible explanation for the decline in truancy is stricter measurement systems for attendance and a change in the classification of chronic truancy to equate to nine unexcused absences instead of the previous 18 unexcused absences.
In addition the Illinois State Board of Education changed its definition of "dropout" to only include students who dropped out of ninth through 12th grade rather than those in kindergarten through 12th grade. The change in the grade levels considered in dropout rates would have resulted in a decrease in reported dropouts.