Monitoring Data Matters Even More: A Review of State Attendance Data Policy and Practice in School Year 2022-23, by Attendance Works, June 2023.
This brief is our third annual examination of how state attendance policies and practices have evolved since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. States can play an essential guiding role in the collection, use and public availability of attendance and chronic absence data. While reporting chronic absence on state report cards is required by the federal government, how that data is reported is left to the states. With data systems in place, everyone can monitor, detect and address high levels of absenteeism and identify inequitable access to learning opportunities.
The analysis is based on a review of the attendance policies of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Several positive developments are worth highlighting. Only a decade ago chronic absence was just gaining recognition as a helpful education metric. Today, 48 states and D.C. publish chronic absence data online. In addition, states are beginning to publish data in a more timely manner, with most reporting it for the prior school year and three states making it available before the end of the school year. This is a major improvement from two years ago when only nine states published data for the prior school year.
The brief offers recommendations for states that include effective state-wide attendance procedures and policies for districts and schools.