Prekindergartners and kindergartners who are chronically absent are more likely than pupils who attend regularly to continue to miss school in later grades and be held back by grade 3, according to a new study.
The study by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium followed three separate groups of Baltimore pre-K and kindergarten pupils, totaling nearly 14,000, to determine patterns of chronic absence and academic performance through 3rd grade.
The study found that one-half of early-learners who missed more than 20 days of school in prekindergarten and kindergarten missed as much the following year. More than a quarter of the chronically absent children were retained by grade 3.
“Having so many children missing so many days early in their academic careers has negative consequences for students, classroom instruction, and schools. The long-term impact is far reaching, potentially impacting the city’s workforce development and broader society, in general,” the report says.
A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2012 edition of Education Week as Chronic Absenteeism