• Erica Peterson

Leading, Lagging or Both, Oh My!


At SI&A, we love talking about data. Attendance data is unique in that it is both a leading and lagging indicator. In basic terms, leading indicators predict future performance. Lagging indicators reflect current performance.


As a leading indicator, attendance is the number #1 predictor of dropouts and graduation rates. A study from the University of Chicago found that “course attendance is eight times more predictive of course failure in the freshman year than test scores. Just one week of absence is associated with a much greater likelihood of failure, regardless of incoming achievement.” Watch this short clip to learn more.


In school districts, attendance data is viewed as a lagging indicator. According to Leading Agile, “Lagging indicators are typically “output” oriented. They are easy to measure but hard to improve or influence. A lagging indicator is one that usually follows an event.” Students are chronically absent once they miss 10% or more of a given school year.


Using attendance data to proactively drive the actions needed to improve student performance is the entire premise of our attendance management system, The Achievement Initiative.


As we spend the summer positioning for the upcoming 22/23 school year, how will you turn your lag into a lead?