Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, assistant professor and Ben Pogodzinski, associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education, quoted in Chalkbeat, "Getting kids to class may be harder than some lawmakers think."

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Chalkbeat, 2/15
Getting kids to class may be harder than some lawmakers think. A new study casts doubt on how big a role educators can play.
By Amanda Rahn

Michigan and other states are focusing more on how often students are absent as a factor in determining a school’s performance. But a new study calls into question whether that’s a good idea. Two Wayne State University researchers, Sarah Lenhoff and Ben Pogodzinski, said in a report published last week, that when it comes to whether a child will get to class, some schools have more influence over attendance than others. Among factors that can influence attendance are how much families trust their teachers, whether the kids feel safe, and response to the school’s discipline policy. Michigan is one of 36 states that plan to use chronic absenteeism to measure school performance under the federal education law. But the Wayne State study indicates that it is unreliable to use attendance as a mark of quality to compare schools when the effect of these influences can vary so much.

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