Associate Professor Michael Gottfried from the Department of Education at UC Santa Barbara's Gevirtz School will be giving an invited lecture on “Reducing Truancy and Chronic Absenteeism in California Schools” at the Seminar for Education Policymakers and Scholars on January 22. The seminar series is hosted by Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) and will take place in at the UC Center in Sacramento.
Gottfried has been working with Attorney General Kamala Harris to address the urgent issues of truancy and absenteeism. According to PACE, truancy is a dire issue in California schools—in 2012-2013, around 30 percent of elementary students were considered truant. Truancy is much more common among low-income families and has negative effects on students and their communities, while costing California money.
While working with Harris, Gottfried has developed “Truancy Reduction Pilot Projects” to study intervention and prevention of truancy in elementary schools. The findings from these investigations will be presented during Gottfried’s talk, and suggest future policy changes to implement solutions capable of solving the truancy problem. Ph.D. students Lia Simon and Jacob Kirksey helped Gottfried with the research.
Dr. Gottfried’s research focuses on the economics of education and education policy. Using the analytic tools from these disciplines, he has examined issues pertaining to peer effects, classroom context, and STEM. His research extends across the K-16 pipeline. Dr. Gottfried has published numerous articles in these areas, with multiple publications in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Educational Research Journal, Education Finance and Policy, Teachers College Record, American Journal of Education, Journal of Educational Research, and Elementary School Journal, among others. He is/has been the Principal Investigator on multiple funded research grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health (NICHD), American Educational Research Association, and the Haynes Foundation. He has won multiple scholarly awards for his research, including the Outstanding Publication in Methodology Award in both 2010 and in 2012 given by AERA Division H and the Highest Reviewed Paper Award in 2013 given by AERA SIG: School Effectiveness and School Improvement.