Students Are Missing School at an Alarming Rate


The academic achievement of millions of American students faltered during the pandemic — and in many cases, has not recovered three years later. The latest data on student attendance offers one explanation: Far more students are missing many days of school compared with before the pandemic.

Nearly 70 percent of the highest poverty schools experienced widespread, chronic absenteeism in the 2021-22 school year, compared with 25 percent before the pandemic, according to a new analysis released on Friday by Attendance Works, a nonprofit that aims to reduce chronic absenteeism, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, which focuses on high school graduation preparedness.

In these schools, about a third or more of the student body was considered chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10 percent of the school year, or about two days of school every month. That includes all absences, including sick days and school-imposed suspensions.