Absenteeism & Truancy (S1E1)

September 26, 2023
Podcast episode cover artwork featuring the Educator’s Playbook show name, this episode’s number and title, and cut-out images of the show guests.
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Chronic absenteeism and truancy are on the rise, hindering student success. In our debut episode of the Educator’s Playbook podcast, host Kimberly McGlonn speaks with two experts on the issue, exploring the sudden increase in attendance issues as well as ways to get students back into the classroom – and help keep them there. First, she’s joined by education economist and Penn GSE professor Michael Gottfried to learn why students are missing more school, how the pandemic accelerated trends, and insight into some easy, proven ways schools can improve student attendance. Then, Kimberly chats with fellow professor Ericka Weathers about her research on state truancy policies, and how in the face of social inequalities, punitive policies actually prevent schools from addressing the root causes of student absences. Listen in as we explore the underlying reasons for absenteeism and truancy, and the ripple effects both have on academic achievement, teacher morale and classroom dynamics.


  • Michael Gottfried, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education    
  • Ericka Weathers, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education



 The Educator's Playbook podcast is produced in Philadelphia with partner RADIOKISMET.