Avery Gagliano parents received this truancy letter from the State Superintendent of Schools. DCPS calls her concert absences "truancy" and won't work with her family to make independent study programs for the straight-A student. (Kate Patterson/For The Washington Post)

The extent of and reasons for teacher absenteeism are not known, but, as the front-page article reported, it does affect student success. We know much more about the problem of chronic absenteeism among students. But student chronic absenteeism is a serious problem that must be addressed. A recent Hamilton Project report showed that in each state, between 8 percent and 30 percent of students were chronically absent in the 2013-2014 school year. Students who are chronically absent have lower performance on standardized tests and are more likely to drop out of school. Schools with high rates of chronic absenteeism have lower rates of proficiency on standardized exams and on-time high school graduation.

At this very moment, states are making decisions about how to hold schools accountable under the new Every Student Succeeds Act. In addition to improving student achievement and high school graduation rates, the Hamilton Project has made the timely recommendation that states hold schools accountable for reducing chronic absenteeism among students. Reducing chronic absenteeism among students will put more students on the path to participating in an economy that increases opportunity, prosperity and growth.

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Washington

The writer is director of the Hamilton Project.