COVID-19 Creates Roadblock for School Districts’ Efforts to Curb Absenteeism

COVID-19 Creates Roadblock for School Districts’ Efforts to Curb Absenteeism

March 12, 2020

As reported by Education Week, COVID-19 could have a significant impact on “chronic absenteeism rates that will be publicly reported and, for many schools, used in their states’ accountability systems that determine how well they performed.” Under ESSA, states have been pushed to look “beyond traditional indicators like test scores and graduation rates in evaluating schools.” For 36 states and the District of Columbia, that has included incorporating chronic absenteeism into their state ESSA accountability systems. Even in districts without closures, attendance is likely to drop as “families face conflicting messages from employers, government officials, and a variety of media sources about the severity of the virus and how to control its spread.”