A state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group and in every state and city tested.
The analysis, Absences Add Up: How Attendance Influences Student Success, is based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and was released today by Attendance Works at the start of Attendance Awareness Month. The unique research shows:
- Poor attendance is a national challenge. About one in five students nationwide reported missing 3 or more days of school during the month before taking the NAEP test; if this persisted throughout the year, those students would miss more than a month of school in excused or unexcused absences.
- Student attendance matters for academic performance. In many cases, the students with more absences displayed skill levels one to two years below their peers.
- Poor attendance contributes to achievement gaps. Students living in poverty and those from communities of color were more likely to miss too much school. That said, poor attendance is associated with weaker test scores in every demographic and socioeconomic group.