African American Male Achievement Initiative: A Closer Look At Attendance Of African American Males In OUSD

by Alison Feldman; Anny Chang; Eron Budi; Junious Williams; Rebecca Brown; Sara Marxer; Steve Spiker

Jan 1, 2012

This report examines data, best practices, and policies related to attendance and chronic absence and offers recommendations for reducing the levels of chromic absence for African American males in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). It analyzes one year of attendance data (2010-2011) for African American males in OUSD, looking at chronic absence by grade level, types of absence, and reasons given for absence, as well as comparing rates of chronic absence to other males groups in OUSD.
  • African American boys are 17 percent of OUSD students, but account for 28 percent of chronically absent students. They were twice as likely as OUSD students as whole and more than three times more likely as White boys, to be chronically absent in 2010-11.
  • Roughly one in five African American boys was chronically absent in elementary, middle, and high school in 2010-11.
  • In elementary school, the leading cause of absence for chronically absent African American boys was illness. This remained true in middle schools, with unverified absences (where parents could not be contacted) a close second. In high school, unverified absences were the leading cause of missed school days.
  • Three areas of concern that relate to African American male chronic absences are poverty and health, family and student relationships with school, and reactive attendance policy.