Year of Publication

2008

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Russel O. Mays

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Third Advisor

Dr. Joyce T. Jones

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carolyn L. Williams

Department Chair

Dr. John J. Venn

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Abstract

Chronic absenteeism is a problem that has plagued the public school system for a number of years. The cost of missed days of school can be counted in missed work, missed participation, and missed opportunities. The chronically absent student falls behind his/her peers academically which may lead to grade level retention and truancy. Truancy has been identified as one of the key indicators associated with students in public schools who drop out of school. Truancy can also be a predictor of illegal drug use by students (U.S. Department of Education, 2006).

Researchers have attempted to identify the various characteristics of truant or chronically absent students. Some studies have indicated that student chronic absenteeism may be associated with certain racial/ethnic cultures and tend to occur at some grade levels more than others (Florida Department of Education (FDOE), 2002, 2004a, 2005a, & 2006a). Other studies indicated that socioeconomic status and enrollment in the exceptional education program may be indicators for chronic absenteeism (FDOE, 2004a). Still others have indicated that certain types of disciplinary action used in the school may also indicate the level of chronic absenteeism and truancy (Hoffman, Llagas, & Snyder, 2003).

The present research identified variables that have the greatest degree of association with student chronic absenteeism in Florida public schools. The variables that were identified as having the greatest association with students who were chronically absent included students assigned to in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, exceptional educational programs, and who have not been promoted to the next grade. The greatest common factor is out-of-school suspension.

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