Teacher Absenteeism in Urban Schools


  • James E. Bruno University of California, Los Angeles




Geographic Location, High Schools, Institutional Characteristics, Secondary School Teachers, Urban Schools


School reform efforts aimed at promoting equity and excellence at urban school settings are heavily dependent upon the quality of teaching personnel that are used to deliver the instructional program. Social Justice and other public policy issues related to equity and excellence at urban schools have begun to examine the impact that teacher absenteeism, and by extension the reliance on substitute teachers to deliver instructional might have on educational attainment. This study combines school district data gathering mechanisms on teacher absence rates at school sites with Geographical Information Systems (G.I.S.) to map the association between a school's geographical environmental space and the propensity for teacher absence. The disparity between teaching resources as delivered by the school district vs. teacher resources as actually received by students in the classroom via teacher absenteeism is examined in the context of schools located in positive (high income) and negative (low income) geographical space. The study concludes that there is a strong association between the geographical quality of the school site setting, teacher absenteeism, and the reliance on substitute teachers to deliver instructional programs. Disparity in teacher absenteeism rates across large urban geographical areas threatens the promotion of equity and excellence in the schools by attenuating or lessening the effect of school resources to support instruction and amplifying the risk factors of students in the classroom.


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Author Biography

James E. Bruno, University of California, Los Angeles

Professor James E. Bruno has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for over 30 years and is currently engaged in research dealing with a wide range of interrelated topic areas impacting on children and adolescents. These areas include the perception of time and human behavior, social justice and community well being associated with geographical space, time-space distortions for children and adolescents in a new world order, and the use of information technologies for assessment and instructional support in educational settings. He presently teaches in the UCLA honors undergraduate program, the GSE&IS education minor program, UC-Fresno joint doctoral program in educational leadership, and doctoral program in urban studies at UCLA.




How to Cite

Bruno, J. E. (2002). Teacher Absenteeism in Urban Schools. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 10, 32. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v10n32.2002