Series

sugargliding/Flickr

If you ask the average American about the War of 1812, you’ll probably hear about Fort McHenry, the Star Spangled Banner and maybe the Battle of New Orleans. But ask your average Brit and you may get a blank stare. The war we call our “second war of independence,” the one in which we threw off the British for good, doesn’t even register in the United Kingdom.

Maryland State Department of Education

A web-exclusive installment in our year-long series Empty Desks: The Effects of Chronic Absenteeism.

Chronic absenteeism—missing 20 days or more of school in a year—dropped in Baltimore city last year, but only by about 2 percent. This graph compares school years 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The numbers were compiled by the Maryland State Department of Education.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

Nearly a quarter of Baltimore city’s public school students are considered chronically absent. They miss more than 20 days of school every year. And that puts added pressure on teachers to bring those students up to speed without boring everyone else.

Tyra Brown

More than 17,000 Baltimore students miss 20 or more days of school a year. Many of these chronically absent students and their parents say transportation is a major reason for their absences. That’s because nearly 30,000 city students use public transportation to get to school—students like 13-year-old Juwan Nobel and his 9-year-old brother Javon  Nobel.

Joel McCord / WYPR

A group of ninth graders from Baltimore’s Maritime Industries Academy gets a taste of life in another century through an exhibit on the War of 1812 at the Naval Academy museum in Annapolis and a sail on Pride of Baltimore II, a replica of a Baltimore clipper of that era. They learn, for example, the difference between pirates—just plain crooks—and privateers, who sailed with government issued licenses to steal.  And some students got to take a turn at the helm.

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