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Title: Principal Quality and Student Attendance
Authors: Bartanen, Brendan
Keywords: econometric analysis
education policy
research methodology
Issue Date: Mar-2020
Series/Report no.: Educational Researcher;:: 49:2, 101–113.
Abstract: Student attendance is increasingly recognized as an important measure of educational success, which has spurred a body of research examining the extent to which schools can affect this outcome. However, prior work almost exclusively focuses on teachers, and no studies have explicitly examined the importance of school leaders. This study begins to fill this gap by estimating principal value-added to student absences. Drawing on statewide data from Tennessee over a decade, I find that principal effects on student absences are comparable in magnitude to effects on student achievement. Moving from the 25th to 75th percentile in principal value-added decreases student absences by 1.4 instructional days and lowers the probability of chronic absenteeism by 4 percentage points. Principals have larger effects in urban and high-poverty schools, which also have the highest baseline absenteeism rates. Finally, princip
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