ERIC Number: EJ906448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-20
Reference Count: 0
Early-Years Absenteeism Seen as Critical
Sparks, Sarah D.
Education Week, v30 n8 p1, 13 Oct 2010
While efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism typically focus on adolescents, experts say that the early grades are the place to start. Statistics show that rates of absenteeism in kindergarten and 1st grade can rival those in high school. An average of one in 10 pupils in grades K-12 nationwide is considered chronically absent, defined as missing 10 percent or more of school. Reducing absenteeism is important because studies link it to an increased likelihood of poor academic performance, disengagement from school, and behavior problems. Moreover, research by the National Center for Children in Poverty shows that the same risk factors that make students more likely to become chronically absent, such as poverty-related mobility or an unstable home life, only serve to intensify the problems caused by missing school. Hedy N. Chang, an early-absenteeism researcher and the director of Attendance Counts, said high kindergarten absences are the norm nationwide, but tend to get less attention from educators and policymakers than secondary school truancy. Yet missing school early, when pupils are learning the most basic skills, can hamstring them in later grades and contribute to poor attendance throughout their academic careers.
Descriptors: Disadvantaged, Kindergarten, Attendance, Attendance Patterns, Incidence, Average Daily Attendance, Family Involvement, Intervention, Preschool Education, Change Strategies, Educational Change
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A