From today’s front-page story by Claudia Rowe:
The finding was hard to believe, but year after year and in state after state, the numbers kept bearing it out: Sixth-graders who missed 20 days of class had, at best, a 20 percent chance of graduating from high school on time.
This was a bombshell for researcher Bob Balfanz, who’d spent most of his career trying to understand the factors driving 1 million American students to drop out each year. He’d paced school hallways and sat through hundreds of hours of classroom instruction.
But in 2007, after tracking 13,000 middle-schoolers for eight years in Philadelphia, Balfanz finally isolated a red flag common to all who, years later, failed to graduate on time: A history of poor attendance.
Go here to read the full story. For more on attendance:
- Video: Young mentors drum up enthusiasm at Denny Middle School
- Guest opinion: Hopkins researcher calls for communities to work together on attendance
- Coming on Friday: Chat live about why attendance matters
- Five questions with Denny Middle School’s City Year mentors
- Question of the Week: Is it ever OK to let kids skip school?