This week, Executive Director Louis Freedberg, Editor-at-Large John Fensterwald explore a headline topic: chronic absenteeism, which the state will add to the school dashboard as a measure of student success and engagement. They’re joined by Cecelia Leong, associate director of programs for a nonprofit focusing on this issue, Attendance Works, to discuss these questions:

  • Why is tracking chronic absenteeism important?
  • How extensive is the problem in California?
  • Why are students chronically absent?
  • What should schools be doing about it?
  • What are other states’ effective strategies?
  • What’s next for this issue?

Plus: From the field in Oakland, podcast producer Sarah Tan speaks with a high school student about her frequent school absences and examines an elementary school that’s tackling the problem.

Produced by Sarah Tan