Allensworth, Elaine M. University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research, November 2014. CCSR has already produced powerful research showing the effects of poor attendance as early as preschool and on the success of efforts to improve achievement and attendance in ninth grade. The middle school report tracks about 20,000 Chicago Public Schools students from elementary to high school. Researchers found that students who improve their attendance during the middle grade years have better outcomes in high school than those who simply improve their test scores, even when the students start out at the same level. The report concludes that middle schools should invest in strategies to improve attendance.