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ERIC Number: ED544499
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Does Raising the State Compulsory School Attendance Age Achieve the Intended Outcomes? REL 2014-005
Mackey, Philip E.; Duncan, Teresa G.
Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic
Maryland recently raised its compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 in two stages: from 16 to 17 at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year and from 17 to 18 at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year (Maryland Senate Bill 362, 2012). The Maryland State Department of Education, a member of Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic's School Completion and Engagement Research Alliance, requested technical assistance from Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic in fulfilling reporting requirements to the legislature and in implementing the policy changes. Against this background, this review addresses the following research questions: (1) What changes have occurred in dropouts, truancy, and disciplinary actions in states that raised their compulsory school attendance age during 2002-11? (2) What broader social outcomes have been identified in studies using national datasets? (3) How have these states measured changes in these expected outcomes? The study design includes the following: (1) Data on changes in state compulsory attendance laws will be accessed from state websites; (2) Data on outcomes associated with changes in compulsory attendance age will be accessed from government and non-government documents; and (3) State officials associated with dropout prevention programs will also be contacted via email for information about outcomes associated with changes to compulsory attendance age. Presently, findings indicate that there is insufficient evidence to build a case for or against raising the compulsory school attendance age. Despite divergent views on the merits, recent studies conclude that if states enact stricter compulsory attendance age laws, they should do so in conjunction with complementary retention and dropout prevention policies that create a comprehensive approach. The following are appended: (1) Methodology; (2) Summary of statutes raising the age of compulsory school attendance, 2002-11; and (3) Summary of compulsory school attendance requirements. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures, 1 map, and 6 notes.) [This report was prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) under Contract ED-IES 12-C-0006 by Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic administered by ICF International. To view the summary of this report see ED544500.]
Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic. 11785 Beltsville Drive Suite 300, Calverton, MD 20705. Tel: 301-572-0889; Tel: 866-735-6239; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (ED); National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Maryland; United States
IES Funded: Yes