Bright Start TN Clearinghouse

Measure Of Success

Regular Attendance

The major indicator for this measure of success is the percent of children who are chronically absent during preschool and the early grades (K-3)

Regular attendance in preschool and the early grades promotes higher student achievement, as measured by kindergarten readiness scores, indicators of reading fluency, and performance on standardized assessments in reading and math. Regular attendance in preschool and early grades also supports social-emotional development and educational engagement, including a range of positive approaches to learning such as independent work ability and persistence in completing tasks. Attendance is further linked with lower rates of grade retention and chronic absenteeism in later grades. Socioeconomically disadvantaged children in particular benefit from regular school attendance.

  • Gottfried_2014_Chronic Absenteeism and Its Effects: Analysis of nationally representative data set of over 10,000 kindergartners in the 2010-11 school year. Assessed the effects of moderate chronic absenteeism (between 2 weeks and 18 days of absence) and strong chronic absenteeism (more than 18 days of absence). Findings show chronic absenteeism reduces math and reading achievement, reduces educational engagement, and decreases social engagement.
  • Erlich_2013_Pre-K Attendance: Analysis of 25,000 Chicago Public Schools children between 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 school years. Assessed effects of attendance rates in preschool. Findings include better preschool attendance has positive effects on kindergarten readiness, including measures of social-emotional development; chronic absence in preschool is linked to higher likelihood of chronic absence in second grade; and chronic absence for multiple years between preschool and second grade is linked to below-grade level reading in third grade.
  • ConnollyOlson_2012_Early Elementary Performance: Analysis of 2,500 Baltimore City Schools children between 2006-2007 and 2010-2011 school years. Assessed effects of chronic absence, defined as missing more than one-ninth of days enrolled, in prekindergarten and kindergarten. Findings include lower math and reading achievement in grades 1-2, grade retention, and future chronic absenteeism.
  • Ready_2010_Socioeconomic Disadvantage, School Attendance, and Early Cognitive Development: Analysis of 14,000 kindergarten children who advanced to first grade following kindergarten in the 1998-1999 year. Assessed the relationship between early academic development and school attendance rates, and the extent to which socioeconomic inequalities in academic performance are exacerbated by attendance. Findings suggest that across socioeconomic status, chronic absence in kindergarten is linked to lower kindergarten literacy development. Additionally, socioeconomically disadvantaged children who have good attendance rates gain more literacy skills than their higher SES peers during kindergarten and first grade.


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