This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Teacher Absenteeism and Student Reading Growth and Achievement




Conradson, Kathryn

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This study aims to explore the association between teacher absenteeism and student achievement. Specificially, this study aims to determine if an association exists between teacher absenteeism and elementary student reading growth and achievement. Further, it seeks to identify student and teacher factors that impact teacher absenteeism, including gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, class size, and experience. Considering high rates of teacher absenteeism, early indications of burnout, and replacement with less-effective substitutes, this study intends to gain a precise understanding of how these trends impact students and how they may differentially impact populations most likely to be exposed to chronically absent teachers. To do so, I employ a correlational design, evaluating the association between teacher absenteeism and student reading achievement, as well as, student reading growth, which is measured at multiple time points. The results indicate that teacher absenteeism has a significant negative effect on student reading growth and achievement, and that effect is more pronounced when teachers are chronically absent. Further, these effects are more pronounced for students that are black or of low socioeconomic status. Because of this, school leaders should consider ways to increase teacher attendance and be aware of student populations that are impacted differently than their peers in order to provide needed support.