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Kindergarteners: The ‘Most Truant’ Students?

The recently released scores on the Smarter Balanced assessments underscore enduring achievement gaps that decades of previous reforms have failed to close. But one contributor to the achievement gap has recieved little attention: The fact that large numbers of the youngest and often most disadvantaged students are frequently absent from school.

In California, kindergarten students are the most likely of any elementary school students to be “chronically absent,” defined as those missing at least 18 days, or 10 percent of the school year, according to “In School & On Track 2015,” a new report from Attorney General Kamala Harris that looked at absenteeism rates in the 2014-15 school year.