Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

The Effects of Early Chronic Absenteeism on Third-Grade Academic Achievement Measures

The authors investigated the relationship between student absences in early elementary school and achievement in math and reading on a third-grade standardized test in Wisconsin. This analysis uses statewide data from 2005-2014 and finds that missing school is associated with lower test performance. Students of color and those from low-income families are more likely to be absent from school and to experience greater losses in achievement for each missed day of school. The authors recommend the state provide additional absence-related data to school leaders and to coordinate with community organizations in providing holistic, family-focused services to the schools and districts displaying the highest rates of chronic absenteeism.

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: Workshop in Public Affairs, Public Affairs 869, taught by Donald Moynihan in Spring 2015
  • Author(s): Richard Coelho, Sierra Fischer, Forrest McKnight, Sam Matteson, and Travis Schwartz
  • Client Name: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction