90% attendance goal flawed

September 22, 2012 

I read your editorial regarding 90 percent school attendance goal (Our View, Sept. 20). I agree regular attendance, coupled with many other factors, contribute to student success.

However, this 90 percent attendance rate goal -- as it has been simply stated and reinforced -- troubles me. An example of an unacceptable absence (given in ADN) only reinforces my concern. A visit to faraway Alaska from a grandparent might be just the perfect reason to miss one day of school.

I work hard to ensure my daughter is prepared for school and learning. I also take my daughter traveling outside of the U.S. to experience new cultures and ecosystems, which results in her missing 10-12 days of school annually. These trips reinforce learning and lead to being a better world citizen. This year, it's possible she may miss 18 days of school. That doesn't make her, or me, a failure.

I encourage you to recognize the value of these types of learning experiences that are in direct conflict with the 90 percent goal.

-- Jolie Pollet Strohmeyer

Anchorage

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