5 Eyewitness News Investigates Teacher Absenteeism in Minn.
A recent report found about two out of every five Minnesota teachers missed more than ten days in a single school year, and their absence could be taking a toll on your student.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at KSTP.
#1 Nov 15, 2013
As a Minnesota teacher I am truly disappointed in the news story that was ran about teacher absenteeism. I respect that KSTP has an interest in investigating an important issue such as the impact of absenteeism on students, however this story was in poor taste.
It is inappropriate to run a story that is based off of inaccurate and inconsistent data (even if this is admitted by the journalists). The problem lies with the promo ads KSTP ran multiple times during your prime time tv lineup prior to the airing of the story. The promos gave the impression that MN teachers were doing something wrong. The promos had no mentioning of flawed data, like was mentioned at the end of the news story. It seems as though KSTP ran a negative inaccurate promo simply to get high ratings. This is especially disappointing because thousands of viewers only saw the promos and not the actual story because the story didn't run until 10:30pm. I feel that thousands of viewers were then given an inaccurate preview of the story. Most of these viewers went to bed before your story aired and now have the idea that your investigators caught MN teachers doing something wrong.
I can honestly say that I rarely ever miss a day of work. It really is harder to prepare for a sub than to be at work. I don't feel comfortable leaving my students with a sub because I truly care about their achievement. I recently skipped my uncle's funeral to be there for my students. Most employees in other careers wouldn't hesitate to request off for these reasons.
There is a misconception that teachers get all this time off. Although I appreciate summer/winter/spring break, these are unpaid days off. In addition, it is nearly impossible to travel or attend appointments during the school year breaks because it is prime vacation time for families (much too expensive for a teacher to afford during these times). In our district, we only get 4 personal days off per year. That is much lower than the average employee time off. We are not allowed to take more than 2 of these days at a time. My teachers, myself included, forego travel because of this.
Please consider running stories that are based on accurate and complete data. I think your viewers will appreciate this effort more than the attention-grabbing stories.
Anonymous MN Teacher
“I am always right.”
Since: Oct 09
Former MN Taxpayer
#2 Nov 21, 2013
Oh, you poor thing.
"There is a misconception that teachers get all this time off. Although I appreciate summer/winter/spring break, these are unpaid days off. In addition, it is nearly impossible to travel or attend appointments during the school year breaks because it is prime vacation time for families (much too expensive for a teacher to afford during these times). In our district, we only get 4 personal days off per year. That is much lower than the average employee time off. We are not allowed to take more than 2 of these days at a time. My teachers, myself included, forego travel because of this."
The state measures class time in hours, requiring a minimum of 935 hours for elementary and 1,020 for middle- and high-school students. If a typical school day is six hours, that translates into 156 elementary and 170 middle- and high-school days.
The typical private sector employee works 246 days per year.
52 weeks x 5 days = 260 days worked
Less 2 weeks vacation
Less 8 holidays
Less 4 personal days
That means that the typical private sector employee works 45% more days per year than the typical teacher. You will receive no sympathy from me.
You are welcome,
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