• What the Research Shows Click this link to go to the article

    The reports on this page are listed alphabetically by author and examine the issue of chronic absence nationwide and in selected communities. Also, see the early educationelementarysecondary and health sections for reports listed chronologically.

  • Attendance Works click this link for go to this article

    This analysis of national testing data shows that students with higher absenteeism rates have lower scores on national standardized tests. It reinforce a growing body of research confirming the connection between school attendance and student achievement and reveals the critical importance of intervening as soon as absences begin to add up, whether early in a child’s school career or at the beginning of the school year. The good news is poor attendance can be turned around when policies and practices encourage schools and communities to partner with students and their families to monitor their data and implement promising and proven practices.

  • Taken from Attendanceworks.org November 12th, 2014 


    Schools across the country are focused on improving standardized test scores as a measure of student achievement and school success. But when it comes to measuring what factors best predict high school graduation and college enrollment, other factors stand out: grades and attendance. Looking Forward to College and High School, a new study by the University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research (CCSR), found that grades and attendance also matter more than  race, poverty or other demographic characteristics.

    “Test scores are very good at predicting future test scores but not as strongly predictive of other outcomes we care about, like whether students will struggle or succeed in high school coursework or graduate from college,” said UChicago CCSR Lewis-Sebring Director Elaine Allensworth, the lead author of the report, said in a statement.

    CCSR has already produced powerful research showing the effects of poor attendance as early as preschool and on the success of efforts to improve achievement and attendance in ninth grade. The middle school report tracks  about 20,000 Chicago Public Schools students  from elementary to high school.
    Researchers found that students who improve their attendance during the middle grade years have better outcomes in high school than those who simply improve their test scores. even when the students start out at the same level. The report concludes that middle schools should invest in strategies to improve attendance.
    Other findings include:
    • Students’ middle school grades are a crucial point of intervention. Students show considerable growth and declines in grades between fifth and eighth grade, and these changes can have strong implications for high school grades. Students need very high grades in middle school to be on course to earn high grades in high school. In fact, only those students who leave eighth grade with GPAs of at least 3.0 have even a moderate chance of earning a 3.0 GPA in high school, the threshold for being considered college-bound. A 3.5 middle school GPA was found to give students about a 50 percent chance of college success.   But grades can and do improve in middle school—with real payoffs. For example, a one point difference in GPAs in eighth grade corresponds to a 20 percentage point difference in the likelihood of passing ninth-grade math.
    • Whether students are “ready” for high school depends not only on their academic performance in the middle grades but also on the context that they enter into in ninth grade. Students with the same academic records in middle school often have different high school outcomes depending on which high school they attend.  Furthermore, many students leave the middle grades looking like they are prepared to do well in high school only to see their grades and attendance drop dramatically in ninth grade, putting them at risk of not graduating or not being ready for college.  In fact, only about half of students exceeding the state standards on tests and earning a 3.5 GPA in eighth grade earned at least a 3.0 GPA in high school.  When students get mostly As and exceed testing standards in eighth grade, and then get Cs or lower in ninth grade, it suggests the problem with low grades is at least has at least as much to do with the high school context as with students’ preparation.  This highlights the need for monitoring students’ academic performance closely during the ninth grade year, to make sure they are performing up to their potential, as well as working to improve their attendance and grades before high school.