Community response helped reverse COVID’s devastating toll on Indigenous communities in Arizona

When COVID-19 first hit the U.S. in early 2020, urban centers like New York City became a focus of national attention. But as the disease spread throughout the U.S. later that spring, the Navajo Nation emerged as a disease hotspot, with case rates rising higher than anywhere else in the country. Newly compiled data reveals…

In wake of pandemic, some districts take less-punitive approach to absenteeism

Though suspending students for attendance violations is widespread in Arizona, it is not universal—or necessary, according to school and district leaders who have found ways around it. They argue effective alternatives must make school a place students want to be, and treat absenteeism as a problem to solve, rather than a behavior to punish.

Overrepresentation of Black, Hispanic students among those suspended for missing school could violate civil rights law

A first-of-its-kind analysis of education data shows that Black, Latino and Native American students are frequently overrepresented among those blocked from class for missing class — what some argue is evidence of a potential civil rights violation. White students, meanwhile, were largely underrepresented.

Suspending students for absences, tardies compounds learning loss

Suspending students for missing class, whether it’s because they showed up late, cut midday or were absent from school entirely, is a controversial tactic. At least 17 states forbid schools from suspending students for attendance problems at some level—if kids aren’t in class, they aren’t learning. Yet the practice is pervasive in Arizona, a first-of-its-kind…


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