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ERIC Number: EJ1174386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1082-4669
Measuring Missed School: The Historical Precedents for the Measurement and Use of Attendance Records to Evaluate Schools
Hutt, Ethan L.
Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, v23 n1-2 p5-8 2018
In this article, the author highlights a recurrent issue related to the historical measurement and use of attendance data: The challenge of producing uniform and reliable records on school attendance. Comparing this issue in the late 1800s to nearly two centuries later, he observes that while the capacity for record keeping and analysis has greatly expanded, the multiple and crosscutting incentives around those statistics have not. Nor has the basic organizational and logistical fact that attendance is recorded by the teacher at a very far distance from the potential district, state, and federal audiences for this information. Those states and districts that employ these metrics should assume that, as with all records that become--whether as a matter of law or public interest--evaluative metrics, they are prone to corruption either through outright fraud or, more likely, compliance in fact if not in spirit. The author suggests caution be used in assuming that the reasons for student non-attendance are fully understood or that these reasons are within the purview and power of individual teachers, schools, or even districts to solve. He points out that failure to recognize this fact and how it might differentially affect individual schools and districts, threatens not only to ignore the long history of attendance enforcement but also perpetuate unrealistic expectations about what schools can accomplish in the present.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A