Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution created a tool that shows multiple data sets, including one that reveals the rates of chronic absenteeism in school districts.
• How can this resource help donors better understand the issues in education? How will this guide their funds?
• Read more about how chronic absenteeism is becoming a major problem in schools.
Educators often say frequent absences are a symptom of another issue in a student’s life. Those issues involve students’ health and safety, a sense of belonging, academic engagement, and students’ and adults’ social and emotional skills, according to a new report from Attendance Works and the American Institutes for Research (AIR).
These “conditions for learning” — whether positive or negative — are intertwined with students’ attendance patterns, and they especially matter for children in poverty, students of color and those with disabilities, the authors said.
“Unfortunately for students who face challenges in the community, inequities often intensify when students encounter negative conditions in school, which may undermine their motivation to attend class and learn,” they write.
Accompanying the report is a nationwide, interactive map that displays data points related to these conditions for every school and ZIP code in the nation.
The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution created the resource with multiple data sources, including the American Community Survey, Civil Rights Data Collection and state school report cards. Teacher attendance rates, suspension and expulsion rates, teacher-student ratios and poverty rates are among the indicators available along with chronic absenteeism rates.
The map can be used to get a “preliminary sense of the relative level of chronic absence for schools compared to nearby schools and then to quickly take a look at how those levels compare to the community demographics of the surrounding community,” said Hedy Chang, the executive director of Attendance Works.
She noted that the map will also be useful to “outside stakeholders,” and David Osher, vice president and an institute fellow at AIR, added that gathering data on “community assets” can also help schools and districts find solutions to high absenteeism rates.
Read the full article about map that shows rates of chronic absenteeism by Linda Jacobson at Education Dive.
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