NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ866928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0162-3737
Excused versus Unexcused: How Student Absences in Elementary School Affect Academic Achievement
Gottfried, Michael A.
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v31 n4 p392-415 2009
The literature on school absences has focused predominantly on the reasons for student truancy, or it has assessed only aggregate student absences in their effect on achievement. However, this study brings forth a new issue: the relationship between types of absences--excused versus unexcused--and school performance. With a quantitative model of educational achievement on a longitudinal multilevel data set of all second- through fourth-grade students in the Philadelphia School District from 1994 to 2000, this study disaggregated absence information to provide new insight on the attendance-achievement relationship. Specifically, a model using fixed effects with classroom-level clustering was employed to determine how the distinction among varying proportions of excused versus unexcused absences related to students' standardized test performance in reading and math. This article demonstrates that distinguishing between students with high rates of excused or unexcused absences is significant. Having a higher proportion of excused absences to total absences exhibits a positive relationship between reading and math test scores. Conversely, students with a higher proportion of unexcused absences places them at academic risk, particularly in math achievement and as early as in elementary school. Implications for policy are discussed. (Contains 3 notes, 9 tables, and 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania