Return to Headlines

Chronic Absenteeism

From the U.S. Department of Education
New data show prevalence of chronic absenteeism
 
Last week the USED released new, first-ever chronic-absenteeism data through a new interactive web site and hosted a two-day Every Student, Every Day National Conference to support states, districts, schools, and communities in their efforts to develop effective chronic-absenteeism policy and practice. The conference focused on how schools can address root causes of the problem and strengthen the collaborative capacity of multi-agency early warning systems to link students to interventions, programs, and preventative services.
 
The 2013-14 CRDC shows that chronic absenteeism impacts students in all parts of the country and is prevalent among all races, as well as students with disabilities. National data reveal more than six million students - or 13 percent of all students - missed at least 15 days of school in the 2013-14 school year.
 
"Chronic absenteeism is a national problem," said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "Frequent absences from school can be devastating to a child's education. Missing school leads to low academic achievement and triggers drop outs. Millions of young people are missing opportunities in postsecondary education, good careers and a chance to experience the American dream."
 
To address the concerns about the depth of the problem, the Obama Administration launched Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeismlast fall in response to recommendations put forth by President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Taskforce. Led by the White House and the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice, the effort is aimed at combating chronic absenteeism and urging states and local communities across the country to reduce absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year. As part of this initiative, 30 communities across the country [Note: including Providence] have joined the My Brother's Keeper Success Mentor initiativean evidence-based effort which aims to reduce chronic absenteeism by connecting students who are or at risk of becoming chronically absent with trained school-linked caring adults and near-peers over the next three to five years.
 
Data show wide disparities in equity, opportunity
 
Last week, the USED Office for Civil Rights (OCR) unveiled new data showing persistent gaps in key areas affecting equity and opportunity, including incidents of discipline, restraint and seclusion, access to courses and other programs that lead to college and career readiness, teacher equity, rates of retention, and access to early learning. Despite significant work by states, school districts, and schools, the wide disparities shown in the latest Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) - with data from all public schools and districts nationwide for the 2013-14 school year - highlight the need for a focus on equity, especially in the implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The CRDC collected data on several topics for the first time, including chronic absenteeism, access to education programs in justice facilities, availability of distance education, presence of sworn law enforcement officers in schools, availability of partially or fully subsidized preschool, and whether the district has a civil rights coordinator. A First Look report is the first in a series of data analyses from the 2013-14 CRDC that OCR will issue over the summer and fall. To make the data more accessible and useful for parents, educators, and policymakers, for the first time, the whole data file is available for download. (Note: Using the CRDC, GreatSchools aims to build a richer set of individual school profiles.)
Ken
Rhode Island Department of Education | (401) 222-8700 | info@ride.ri.gov | http://www.ride.ri.gov
Ken.Wagner@ride.ri.gov