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Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence

Preventing Missed Opportunity: Taking Collective Action to Confront Chronic Absence

PreventingMissedOpportunityFull_FINALCoverChronic absence is a national crisis that cannot be ignored. A day lost to school absenteeism is a day lost to learning. It is a challenge affecting learning in nearly every state.

This brief, a partnering between Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center, builds on the first national chronic absence data set from the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection from the 2013-14 school year.

The analysis finds that half of the 6.5 million students who are chronically absent nationwide are concentrated in just 4 percent of school districts. The analysis also shows that chronic absenteeism follows poverty wherever it is found in significant concentrations.

Given the scope of the problem, the brief lays out key steps school districts and states can take to turn around chronic absenteeism, by using real time data to trigger collective action to ensure every child has the opportunity to achieve in school.

This brief was made possible by the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Campaign for Grade Level Reading, The California Endowment and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. While their support is appreciated, the conclusions are those of the authors alone.

Attendance Works is a national initiative dedicated to improving attendance policy, practice and research. Its website offers a rich array of free materials, tools, research and success stories to help schools and communities work together to reduce chronic absence.

The Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Education seeks to identify the barriers that stand in the way of all students graduating from high school prepared for adult success, develop strategic solutions to overcome the barriers and build local capacity to implement and sustain them.

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