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Student Absences: How They Hurt and What Works


by Michael A. Gottfried & Seth Gershenson — May 01, 2015

Researchers, policy makers, and practitioners commonly assume that student absences matter. When students are not in school, we uphold that they miss out on learning opportunities and forgo valuable social/developmental activities; consequently, when absent students return to school, they are said to be behind and often feel alienated. Moreover, student absences may affect teachers and classmates by disrupting routines and causing teachers to spend time helping students to “catch up” following an absence spell. Given these concerns, recent discourse has emphasized the importance of school attendance.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: May 01, 2015
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17953, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 3:34:50 PM

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About the Author
  • Michael Gottfried
    University of California Santa Barbara
    E-mail Author
    MICHAEL A. GOTTFRIED, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara. His research interests pertain to issues, including: school quality and effectiveness, classroom peer effects, and attendance and truancy. Recent articles include: Retained Students and Classmates’ Absences in Urban Schools (American Educational Research Journal), and Classmates with Disabilities and Students’ Non-Cognitive Outcomes (Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis).
  • Seth Gershenson
    American University
    E-mail Author
    SETH GERSHENSON, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at American University.
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