Chronic Absenteeism Due to Coronavirus Impacts Accountability, Equity in Education

Chronic Absenteeism Due to Coronavirus Impacts Accountability, Equity in Education

March 17, 2020

As Phyllis W. Jordan writes for FutureEd, the spread of coronavirus and the need for social distancing is posing serious challenges for states that use chronic absenteeism as a factor for determining school performance and accountability. “Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia use some definition of chronic absenteeism in assessing schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act.” Moreover, as Jordan notes, “there’s also an equity dimension that coronavirus-inspired school closings need to address,” as low-income and disadvantaged students are less likely to have the resources to replace lost school time—including internet access. Some states—including Washington, California, and South Carolina—are finding “creative solutions” to address these equity concerns.