A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades
It has long been recognized that chronic absenteeism and school truancy in middle and high school are significant problems with highly visible negative consequences for youth, and ultimately, for their employability as adults. Little is known, however, about chronic school absenteeism among early elementary school students, as well as among children in preschool programs. This brief reveals a significant level of absenteeism in the early school years, especially among low-income children, and confirms its detrimental effects on school success by examining children from across various incomes and race/ethnicity groups in a nationally representative sample of children entering kindergarten—The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (Kindergarten Cohort)—in 1998.
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