Portland ranks No. 4 on list of 'Most Absent Teachers'

Portland ranks No. 4 on list of 'Most Absent Teachers' »Play Video
Michele Arntz started using a calendar to keep track of when her children's Portland Public School teachers were absent because it seemed they were "absent all the time."

PORTLAND, Ore. — Teachers in Portland Public Schools are absent from their classrooms more often than almost all other major school systems in the U.S., according to results from a national study.

Portland's teachers miss an average of 14 days every school year compared to a national average of 11 days.

The report, released by the National Council on Teacher Quality in Washington, D.C., studied data from 40 cities.

Portland is among the five worst cities for teacher attendance ranking No. 4 on the list. The worst city, according to researchers, is Cleveland, where teachers miss 16 days a year.

The best is Indianapolis, where teachers are absent an average of six days.

The study included all short-term reasons for absenteeism, including vacation, sick time and professional development.

Michele Arntz already knew Portland would rank high on the list.

She's a stay-at-home mom in Northeast Portland with two kids in Portland Public Schools.

"You have feelings like, wow, my teacher is absent all the time," she said.

Arntz started using a calendar in her kitchen to take attendance on her kids' teachers and found they miss about three or four days a month.

A spokeswoman for PPS declined to be interviewed on-camera but says the district is reviewing the data on its own and will try learning from the results.

Christine Miles says the district will cooperate with the teachers union to make changes if necessary and points out their latest contract already added extra days to the year to compensate for professional development.