Reports ties education test scores to absenteeism

September 2, 2014

Photo: White teacher, student of color (iStock)A nationwide report shows that nearly a quarter of Colorado’s fourth and eighth graders are absent three or more days in the month prior to the nationwide tests called NAEP. 

Colorado is in the top 10 among states for the number of students who are frequently absent from school.

Eighth graders who missed more school than their peers scored 15 points lower on math tests and 11 points lower on reading tests. 

Phyllis Jordan with the group Attendance Works says states that have made progress on the issue track students closely.

"School districts and states who are doing this right are looking at that data and they know when kids are missing too much school and they know who those kids are," Jordan says. "The second step they are doing is intervening."

Also, the group recommends districts partner with community and transportation groups to help kids who are chronically absent get to school.

Jordan says states that have made progress on the issue track students closely and then intervene.

"Sometimes it’s giving them a mentor and calling them up when they’re not showing up for school and sometimes just having someone at the school who cares if they’re going to be there," she says. 
 

She says when the state of Hawaii began targeting the 18 percent of students who were missing 15 or more days a year. It has reduced that number of students to 11 percent.