Children’s HealthWatch Principal investigator, Dr. Megan Sandel, wrote a blog post for the The Economist entitled “Housing and education:The secret to successful urban schools is housing”

Housing and education

The secret to successful urban schools is housing, argues Megan Sandel, Principal Investigator at Children’s Health Watch.

For children to learn in school, they first have to show up. But the data on school absenteeism in many urban schools would make your hair curl. In San Francisco, it is estimated in some school districts that over 50% of students are chronically absent (defined as missing 10% or more of school in a given year).

The longevity of students at a given school is as valuable to them as simple attendance. But students often “churn” – leave and change schools or districts –each year, forcing teachers to re-teach material to new students. In Massachusetts, it was estimated that over a third of students across 11 cities churn through a school in a given year, that is, who start and finish a grade in different places.

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