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AAMAI ATTENDANCE GOAL:
The initiatives attendance goal is that Chronic absenteeism (absence for more than 10% of scheduled school days) will be reduced by 75% for AAM.
• 23% of AAM were chronically absent in 2009-10.
• By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, no more than 6% of AAM will be chronically absent.
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This report examines data, best practices, and policies related to attendance and chronic absence and offers recommendations for reducing the levels of chronic absence for African American boys in OUSD. The report analyzes one year of attendance data (2010-2011) for African American males in OUSD, looking at chronic absence by grade level, types of absence, and reasons given for absence, as well as comparing rates of chronic absence for African American males to other male groups in OUSD. Also examined and analyzed are reasons for attendance disparities for African American boys and recommendations for addressing them from a survey of research literature. Finally, we analyzed California Education Code, OUSD School Board policy, teacher contracts and guides, and the OUSD Parent Guide to help us formulate recommendations for OUSD policy, procedure and practice to address disproportionately high levels of chronic absence among African American males.
1. African American boys were almost twice as likely as general OUSD population, and more than three times as likely as White boys, to be chronically absent in 2010-11. Addressing disparities in attendance alone will not be sufficient, because the overall chronic absence rate in OUSD is too high.
2. Roughly one in five African American boys was chronically absent in elementary, middle, and high school in 2010-11 (21% in elementary school, 18% in middle school, and 22% in high school).
3. From 2006-07 to 2010-11, the rates of chronic absence among African American boys and OUSD students as a whole both declined by four percentage points.
4. While six elementary schools had a chronic absence rate for African American boys lower than the goal of 6%, no middle or high schools reached that goal.
5. Among chronically absent African American boys in elementary school, illness was the leading cause of absence; in middle school it was illness followed closely by unverified absences (where parents could not be contacted); in high school, unverified absences were the leading cause of missed school days.
For school-level chronic absence data, see this table.
For the slides from our June 27th, 2012 webinar on this report, click here.
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Reducing chronic absence among African American boys has the potential to dramatically improve their levels of achievement and likelihood of graduating from high school.
African American boys were almost twice as likely as OUSD students as a whole, and more than three times as likely as White boys, to be chronically absent (absent 10% or more of the time) in 2010-11, and more than twice as likely to be chronically absent than the remaining population.