The Influence of Chronic Absenteeism on Grade 6, Grade 7, and Grade 8 2014 New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge

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Dunlap, Cheryl A.
Chronic Absenteeism; Absenteeism; Attendance; NJASK; Achievement; Standardized Tests; Educational Leadership; Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration; Other Educational Administration and Supervision; Urban Education
thesis / dissertation description
This cross-sectional, correlational, explanatory study aimed to explain what influence, if any, chronic absenteeism has on Grade 6, 7, and 8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) performance, in the aggregate, when controlling for other influential student and school demographic variables. Student achievement scores on the Grade 6-8 ELA NJ ASK and Mathematics NJ ASK were analyzed separately. Analyses were conducted using simultaneous regression, hierarchical regression, and binary logistic regression models. All student data explored in this study pertained to 220 Grade 6-8 middle schools located in New Jersey during the 2013-2014 school year. The sample was taken from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) NJ School Performance Report 2014, which was representative of a proportional random sample of New Jersey’s district composition. The results of the study revealed that using chronic absenteeism as an independent variable to predict the dependent variable of students scoring Proficient or above on the NJ ASK accounted for a weak contribution—.9% for ELA and .5% for Mathematics—in the total variance that can be explained in ELA and Mathematics performance. This was demonstrated in Model 4 of the hierarchical regression where the independent variables chronically absent students, students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities, and students with low socioeconomic status were considered. The results of the study also revealed that chronic absenteeism was not a statistically significant predictor of the odds to determine whether or not students would score Proficient or above on the Grades 6-8 ELA or Mathematics NJ ASK.