Whether the academic or professional arena, there can be no success without being present. It’s very difficult to grow in understanding of your job and/or studies when time is missed. Attendance these days have become a serious issue in schools in the Native American community. To highlight this point, according to research from the National Indian Education Association website (http://www.niea.org/Research/Statistics.aspx#Discipline), the graduation rate for Native Americans K- 12 in Minnesota is an alarming 42%. That percentage according to that research is the lowest of any state in the country.
There are a number of different reasons and factors that surround this issue. The number one issue is attendance. Consistency isn’t always easy or even comfortable. To be present at school everyday can be more than a challenge. When there’s issues like poverty, broken family, lack of resources, and (in some cases) complacency youth’s school attendance can get put to the side sometimes. The danger in that is it sets a potentially destructive precedent for the youth as they strive to become productive citizens in this country. The building of future generations in the Native community simply starts with classroom attendance; being present everyday.
Let’s take starting a new job for example. In many cases when an individual first starts a new job there’s a training period. Let’s say the training period is two weeks. Missing one day can (and most likely will) have a great affect on the person’s ability to properly perform the tasks the position requires. Yes, ONE day can have that kind of impact.
The purpose of education (K- 12) is to attain the necessary education needed to attain a career that will allow people to support themselves and provide for their families. The effect attendance have is a great one, though it may not seem that way right now.