By Terry Kosdrosky
Public Engagement & Impact
School attendance is a major predictor of student success. Unfortunately, Michigan has the sixth-highest chronic absenteeism rate in the country.
U-M Poverty Solutions researcher Jennifer Erb-Downward found that a big driver of student absenteeism in Michigan is homelessness and economic distress.
In this episode of Michigan Minds, Erb-Downward explains the connection between these challenges and absenteeism, and what educators can do to help these students improve attendance.
There are ways to use information and intervene early before a student’s attendance becomes a problem, she said. Unless the state and educators get serious about addressing the challenges poor and homeless students face, far too many will be left behind academically.
“You’re not going to be able to get a student to school if you don’t know why they’re not coming to school,” said Erb-Downward.