University study finds more engaging teachers increase student attendance

The Brown Daily Herald

As middle and high school students begin making their own decisions about whether to attend class, their teachers have a major impact on their attendance rates, according to a recent study from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Specifically, some teachers were more effective than others at promoting attendance, suggesting that more engaging teachers can reduce unexcused absences.

The study — conducted by Annenberg Institute Director Susanna Loeb and Jing Liu, a postdoctoral research assistant — attempts to create a new measure for evaluating teachers beyond their impact on test scores. “There are multiple dimensions of good teacher quality,” Loeb said in an interview with Chalkbeat.

Teachers’ effects on students continue beyond attendance. In the study, the same teachers who boosted attendance also increased both students’ likelihood of taking Advanced Placement courses and their likelihood of graduating from high school.