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Chronic Absenteeism Is A Major Problem In Schools In This State

By Victor Trammell

A new study report by the University of Virginia has found that 10 percent of Virginia’s public school children were chronically absent during the 2014-15 academic year.

According to the Washington Post, the University of Virginia’s study found that this sizable number of public school children who missed days two academic years ago were out of school on average 18 days or more. The U.S. Department of Education has recently started tracking absenteeism in schools districts all across the nation.

The federal government wants to know where students are missing three school weeks out of the year or more. The U.S. Department of Education released its information on nationwide school absenteeism this past June. The numbers were pretty staggering.

Roughly 6.5 million school children missed 15 or more days during the 2014-15 academic school year. A federal law has been passed, which recommends that states do their due diligence when it comes to tracking absenteeism in the public school districts in their jurisdictions.

“The importance of daily school attendance to students’ success is borne out by the research,” the authors of the University of Virginia’s report wrote. “Being absent from school predicts lower test scores, increased likelihood of being retained in grade, and increased risky behaviors,” they also wrote in the report.

The researchers who did this University of Virginia study additionally found that that the students who experienced the most absenteeism performed poorly academically.  It’s very hard to get caught up and develop traction with students who are attending school more frequently.

Virginia’s student absenteeism rate of 10 percent is in line with the national average, according to the Washington Post.

“We’re hoping to continue to work with the Virginia Department of Education to continue to develop our understanding in Virginia and to share with other divisions and schools successful strategies that we believe have yielded positive results,” said  Luke C. Miller in an interview with the Washington Post.

Miller is one of the authors of the University of Virginia’s study. He works an assistant professor of research study at the University of Virginia.

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