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How Did Chronic Absenteeism Become a Thing?

Education Next – Phyllis W. Jordan

“If you look at the accountability systems states are developing to meet federal requirements, you’ll see a growing number are using chronic absenteeism as a metric. Education Week calls it “super popular.” It makes sense. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to have a non-academic measure, and absenteeism is an easy one to use. Every school collects attendance data, and teachers have been taking the roll since the one-room schoolhouse. Beyond that, chronic absenteeism—a measure of both excused and unexcused absences—can be a window into what’s wrong and what’s right with a school. It can reflect an engaged student body and a positive school climate. Or it can signal serious health and safety concerns in a community.”(more)

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