Each year in the United States, approximately 5 to 7.5 million students in the nation’s K-12 schools miss a month or more of school. That means 150 to 225 million instructional days are lost every school year. The problem is more pronounced in low-income urban communities throughout the country. In elementary school, for example, students who live in poverty were found to be as much as five times more likely to be chronically absent than their advantaged peers.
Thomas Kehle, professor of school psychology in the Neag School, passed away on Feb. 7, 2018.
Joshua Hyman, an assistant professor at University of Connecticut, studied the effects of this new policy (required ACT testing) while he was a graduate student at the University of Michigan. Hyman analyzed the test scores and college attendance of all public, high school students in Michigan, before and after the ACT was made universal.
This is why — as researchers who have focused on absenteeism and better ways to keep students engaged — we found the recent report about students graduating from Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., despite missing large amounts of school so concerning.
Each year, more than half a million students drop out of high school in the United States. But what if schools could predict which individuals were most at risk for dropping out — and perhaps even take action to prevent such an outcome? As it turns out, such a scenario is closer than ever to becoming a reality.