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Dishonest attendance practice
Old 09-01-2017, 09:08 PM
 
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I am told to mark students present when they are absent or tardy. I feel sick!


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Wow! That's illegal!
Old 09-01-2017, 11:26 PM
 
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Well, here it is, anyway. A class roll can be subpoenaed to court for attendance hearings, custody/child welfare purposes or criminal cases. If we were found to have falsified it knowingly, it would be career ending and lead to prosecution.
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their rationale?
Old 09-02-2017, 02:37 AM
 
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and did they state any explanation? This is falsifying data and therefore illegal.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:13 AM
 
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I would not go there. This is illegal. Sounds like making campus attendance look good at best and, at worst, pulling a fast one with the state to get attendance money.

Is this coming from the district itself or your principal? Did you receive this directive verbally or in print? I'd check with any friends who teach in a different school in your district to see if they were told the same thing. I'd also report this to your union.

I don't know about your school but at my former school (I'm retired) teachers had to verify the attendance of their students and sign an attendance verification document. If your school does this and gets caught, your signature is on that document. I would not want my signature on a falsified state attendance record.
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Attendance
Old 09-02-2017, 03:19 AM
 
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That is illegal, and I would not do it. I would report it to my union rep and let them handle this situation.


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Illegal here
Old 09-02-2017, 04:01 AM
 
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Follow what others have said. I would add that if nothing gets done about this, you need to report it to the agency that oversees attendance audits. In my area this is the ISD . Whistle-blower protections will cover you.
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Two Thoughts...
Old 09-02-2017, 05:03 AM
 
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Could you report this to your local newspaper without outing yourself?

I would also report this to your state's Department of Education without outing yourself.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:05 AM
 
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I would screenshot and print that email.
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Attendance
Old 09-02-2017, 05:10 AM
 
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Highly illegal. We also have to sign weekly attendance reports. I'm sure it boils down to money. I agree you need to discover where this missive is coming from. If it's just your school, get Union involved. If it's from DO, you gotta call state department of education.

To cover your butt, try to do it anonymously, especially if it's coming just from your P.
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Imagine this...
Old 09-02-2017, 06:17 AM
 
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What would happen if a student got into serious trouble across town and it was publicized in the media (and attendance records showed the student was in class at the time)?

Or perhaps there was a natural disaster or fire at the school, and first responders were looking for missing students who were supposedly in attendance that day?

Imagine the repercussions....


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attendance
Old 09-02-2017, 06:39 AM
 
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You didn't ask for advice, but I agree with the others that it's totally illegal. If your principal told you to do this, I'd just tell him/her that you don't feel comfortable doing that. You can put the child absent and then if they change it, it's on their back. I'd just make sure I marked it in my own records or print a copy every day after you put it in. That way you're covered if/when something happens.

I'm sure it's about money, but not cool to ask you to do something illegal for them.
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wow!
Old 09-02-2017, 08:30 AM
 
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I don't blame you for feeling sick about this. That's how people should feel when they do something wrong. I am not faulting you at all with this comment. What are other teachers in your building saying and doing about this?

I agree with the poster who said mark them absent and let the person who told you to mark them present change it. I doubt this request is in writing, because the administrator knows he'd be in deep #%@*! Definitely report this to your union, if you have one. You are on the chopping block for this and your administration will throw you under the bus.

A few ideas- act like you keep forgetting, tell them you can't ethically do this, ask "why are you asking us to do this?"

They know it's wrong and illegal.

Keep us posted.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:35 AM
 
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Wow! What terrible position to be put it. If you have a union tell them what's going on.😔
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
I doubt this request is in writing, because the administrator knows he'd be in deep #%@*!
In that case, I would send an email, asking my P to clarify the directive. Good luck wiggling out of that!
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Ridiculous
Old 09-02-2017, 10:53 AM
 
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How in the world would any school administrator think that having 100% attendance daily would be believable? Is this a new school for you?

Any possible chance that the instructions were misunderstood or due to some temporary glitch in the computer system or the student schedules or ...

Be sure that you keep accurate attendance records in a safe place off-site. With this sort of potential dishonesty going on, you may want to keep accurate grades records off site also.

I wish you well. This could be a long year.
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Awful
Old 09-02-2017, 11:49 AM
 
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I wouldn't do it or want to work for this school.

If they lie about attendance, what else are they falsifying. I would sure as heck not want to be there during standardized testing. Did you hear about the case (in Chicago maybe?) where teachers went to jail for cheating for students on those tests?

I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg! Sorry you have to deal with this.
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Nope
Old 09-02-2017, 02:44 PM
 
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Do not put yourself in a position to lose your teaching license. Too much to lose and absolutely nothing to gain!
This is terrible that your admin put you in this situation.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:41 PM
 
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I'm assuming that this direction was oral.
No sane person would put this in writing.
I'd ignore an illegal oral order.

Now if it's in writing you have options.
Union, if you have one, would be my first choice.
Depending on where you live, and whether you are public or charter, next choice includes superintendent, school board, state dept of ed, state representative.

The one thing I am sure of is that this is a directive you should not follow.
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Old 09-02-2017, 04:22 PM
 
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Don't do this! Call your union, then your dept. of education. Confirm via email that you understand the directive, something like this: "I know you said all students are to be marked present regardless of whether they attend or not. Should we also mark those present if a parent calls them in sick?"

Something like that so they won't automatically suspect you when the sh!t hits the fan.
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Illegal Attendance
Old 09-02-2017, 04:34 PM
 
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Don't do it!! Period. I could be wrong but I'm guessing this is at a charter school with no union.
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Old 09-02-2017, 08:08 PM
 
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In my state, attendance counts in a school's rating along with state test scores, graduation rates, etc. The rating goes down if attendance is below 95%. I wonder if that's what's driving this.
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:08 AM
 
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How were you informed of this? I may not "remember" the directive unless it is in writing.
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Old 09-03-2017, 04:21 PM
 
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I wonder how long it will take the state to catch on to the fact that your school always has 100% attendance...

I agree with previous posters - Do not falsify attendance records. Send an email asking for clarification so that you have this directive in writing. Print it and keep it in case you face consequences for not breaking the law at your school's request.
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Don't Do It
Old 09-04-2017, 12:50 PM
 
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This happened about 4 years ago where I live. Zero dropout rate and almost 100% attendance at a HIGH SCHOOL no less. People got fired. Some went to prison all because their principal told them to fudge and code attendance/dropout rates a certain way. The courts did allow them to use that excuse because they knew better.

Unless you like orange jumpsuits, I'd stop immediately.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:33 PM
 
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I would send an email to the admin who gave this directive:

"Please clarify. Are teachers being instructed by admin to mark students present who are actually not in attendance at school?"

Cc the superintendent if you're feeling brave and you have tenure.

Also I'm dying to know how this is turning out. Do you have an update?
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