Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel: Experiments in Early Truancy Prevention

Thursday, November 12, 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Japengo (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Philip Cook, Duke University
Panel Chairs:  Jens Ludwig, University of Chicago
Discussants:  Philip Oreopoulos, University of Toronto

Early Truancy Prevention Program Preliminary Report on Attendance Impacts
Amy Schulting1, Philip Cook2, Kenneth Dodge2 and Elizabeth Gifford2, (1)Private Practice in Educational Psychology, (2)Duke University

The Effectiveness of Structured Mentoring at Reducing Chronic Truancy: Mixed-Methods Results from a Randomized Evaluation of Check & Connect in the Chicago Public Schools
Jonathan Guryan1, Sandra Christenson2, Mimi Engel3, Jens Ludwig4, Amy Claessens4, Ashley Cureton4, Ijun Lai1 and Mary Clair Turner1, (1)Northwestern University, (2)University of Minnesota, (3)Vanderbilt University, (4)University of Chicago

Primary School Truancy: Risk Factors and Consequences for Subsequent Dropout
Philip Cook1, Max Crowley2, Kenneth Dodge1 and Maeve Gearing3, (1)Duke University, (2)Pennsylvania State University, (3)Sanford School of Public Policy

Understanding Elementary School Truancy
Amy Claessens, University of Chicago and Mimi Engel, Vanderbilt University

The traditional focus of truancy prevention has been in middle and high school, where truants are seen as a threat to the community. An alternative focus on truancy is gaining traction, which considers truancy an impediment to learning and a precursor to dropout, as well as disruption to the instructional flow. In that perspective truancy becomes an academic problem, one that begins in primary school. This symposium begins with a paper that uses two large longitudinal data sets to document the importance of early truancy as a predictor of subsequent truancy and of eventual dropout. It includes two reports of a large-scale experiment with assigning adult mentors to at-risk children in the Chicago Public Schools, grades 1-8 (the Check and Connect program), which finds promising results for the older grades and offers extensive qualitative documentation of processes that engender truancy. Finally, there is a paper on the new Early Truancy Prevention Program, which assigns primary school teachers the lead role in improving attendance and provides them with a variety of resources to assist in that role. The Program has been pilot tested in first and second grades of the Durham Public Schools with positive results.
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