Andrew Rotherham of Bellwether Education Partners has a piece in US News & World Reports in defense of playing hooky. He pushes back on the urge to crack down on absenteeism saying it may not be what’s best for kid. He also shares examples of “hooky” that are enriching and fun and even get kids outside. While he recognizing that absenteeism is a complicated issue, he challenges us to think it differently and to move toward models of schooling that are more imaginative and less traditional, models where school actually feels kind of like “playing hooky”.
Underneath the easy bromides about staying in school, absenteeism is a complicated collision of issues around personal economics, academic and other student needs, and the increasing desire of parents for more customization in schools. As such, it’s broadly illustrative of the larger challenges facing public schools. It’s also an opportunity.