As a clearinghouse for research, the Center for Urban Education Success publishes practitioner briefs that address particular topics, questions, and problems pertinent to urban education. In preparing these briefs, we draw upon our network with other urban secondary schools to help understand how these schools are successfully addressing the challenges and questions they confront. Then, we bring these “on the ground” successes into conversation with research literature to produce a series of briefs that support the work researchers and practitioners are doing in urban education.
In our effort to learn about best practices in attendance, the Center for Urban Education Success (CUES) has been having conversations with principals and assistant principals at urban high schools around New York State. These schools have three things in common: 1) the vast majority of their students are classified as economically disadvantaged; 2) the vast majority of their students represent minority groups; and 3) the schools have notably high attendance figures. We wanted to find out what was behind their successful attendance outcomes. This brief synthesizes several schools’ stories and integrates them with academic research literature, thus providing a comprehensive research brief for those interested in best practices in attendance.
As a companion to our first brief on attendance, this brief documents a series of visits the Center for Urban Education Success made to several of the schools we identified as exemplars (Marsh, 2016). It uses the categories established in the first brief to organize and synthesize our reflections on meeting students and staff and touring buildings. The data presented here provide a window into the idiosyncratic, context-dependent practices and cultures of schools that are demonstrating success with attendance.