LSU’s Social Research & Evaluation Center and City of Baker School System to visit the White House

May 09, 2024

In its third year of working with the Louisiana Attendance Alliance LSU’s Social Research & Evaluation Center (SREC) has been invited to participate in a presentation at the White House on May 15.

Following a dramatic improvement in City of Baker Schools’ attendance rates, attributable to the national work with Shelneka Adams-Marsalone who oversees the Louisiana Attendance Alliance as well as The Everyone Graduates Center of Johns Hopkins and the National Partnership for Student Success, Superintendent of Baker Schools James T. Stroder and SREC staff are going to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Biden-Harris Administration's "Every Day Counts Summit: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism and Increasing Student Engagement," an invite-only one-day event at the White House on May 15.

Gwen Murray, PhD, the project's lead and primary investigator will be joined by colleagues Bich Do, Sarah Harrell, and Jada Thomas-Smith, all of whom are research associates at SREC. The summit is part of the Biden-Harris Administration Improving Student Achievement Agenda, which includes critical conversations and strategic planning around the ways in which chronic absenteeism adversely impacts student achievement, social, and emotional well-being, health, and development.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Domestic Policy Advisor to President Biden Neera Tanden will share the Administration's efforts to improve student attendance and engagement.

The City of Baker Schools and LSU SREC team will take this opportunity to hear from education leaders and share best practices assessing needs and challenges to implement evidence-based strategies to improve attendance.

Since 2021, SREC has partnered to address chronic absenteeism in Louisiana.

Partnership: Phase I

The first phase of this partnership examined attendance data pre- and post-COVID and culminated in the creation of a Louisiana Statewide Attendance Alliance, which meets monthly to share best practices to create positive attendance culture and understand the unique needs of students and families that contribute to chronic absenteeism.

Partnership: Phase II

During the second phase of the partnership, LSU SREC created an attendance improvement planning workbook and provided training for Attendance Alliance participants from across the state. During phase two, SREC also provided enhanced support to eight school districts across the state to implement multi-tiered systems of support to improve student attendance.

Partnership: Phase III

Now, in the third phase of the partnership, SREC is working on a micro level with City of Baker School System to build a sustainable attendance leadership team, overhaul data systems, and partner with school-level leadership to implement multi-tiered systems of support favoring proactive and preventative attendance strategies and interventions over punitive ones.

See more SREC projects including The Louisiana Attendance Alliance: City of Baker Schools Enhanced Attendance Implementation.

Four people pose for a photo in the White House holding up the LSU "L" hand sign


White House set up in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

LSU Social Research & Evaluation Center is a Louisiana Board of Regents Center of Research Excellence. SREC takes an interdisciplinary approach to research, program evaluation, data and analytics, training, and outreach. Housed in the College of Human Sciences & Education, the team brings expertise and contextual understanding to complex issues facing individuals, families, and communities. SREC is a group of committed and passionate social science researchers, evaluators, and content specialists who work every day to address chronic issues of mental health, substance abuse, health disparities, educational challenges, community violence, poverty, and coastal threats. SREC utilizes comprehensive, research-informed methods to disseminate knowledge, catalyze prevention and intervention efforts, and inform policy, working with university and partners to foster educated, healthy, and resilient people and communities.
Visit the SREC website.

About CHSE
The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Information Studies, the School of Kinesiology the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, and the School of Social Work. CHSE has two model demonstration schools, the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool, enrolling birth to age four and the University Laboratory School enrolling Kindergarten through grade 12. The college also has four centers and institutes: the Early Childhood Education Institute, the Healthy Aging Research Center, the Leadership Development Institute, and Social Research & Evaluation Center. The college is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan. 
Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education website.