Just how are states handling the use of chronic absence as an indicator as they implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)? Attendance Works has launched a series of blog posts that examine attendance-related issues that are emerging as states work through the complexities of responding to ESSA.

The recently submitted state plans for implementing ESSA show that chronic absence is gaining traction as an indicator of school quality and student success. At this point, the majority—14 out of the 17 officially submitted ESSA plans—includes some variant of chronic absence as an accountability indicator and many other states with plans in preparation seem likely to follow suit. And we've seen that the nature of the indicator and definitions of chronic absence differ, as do their attendance goals and intervention points. 

Attendance Works is excited by the opportunity that the increased focus on chronic absence provides because it has the potential to increase student achievement substantially. Our first blog takes a look at different approaches to chronic absence indicators in state plans and unravels the complexity of using a positive indicator. 

We hope this series stimulates conversation about ESSA planning and implementation. We would love to hear from you on this topic! Please share your comments with Sue Fothergill, Associate Director of Policy, at Sue@attendanceworks.org.

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