Black Male Achievement and Early School Attendance

Jan 1, 2013

Chronic absence from preschool and elementary school – defined here as missing at least 10 percent of the school year, regardless of whether or not the absences are excused – is a key contributor to poorer educational outcomes of black males later in life. The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has partnered with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement to produce a factsheet on this topic, as well as other resources.
  • Certain "racialized" obstacles compromise early school attendance among all black children. These include: environmental toxins that cause health problems, limited and ineffective outreach to parents, and lack of reliable transportation.
  • Racialized obstacles that are gender-specific to black males include exposure to complex trauma and early school suspension or expulsion.
  • In 2010-2011, black males in Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) were five times more likely than their white counterparts to experience chronic absence in elementary school.
  • OUSD's approach to reducing chronic absence, which involves careful tracking of data and a full-service community schools model, has begun to demonstrate a measurable impact.
  • Home visits, student attendance awards, and assigning parents a specified contact person at school have also been shown to contribute to advancing regular attendance.