Students Who Skip School Don’t Get the Consequences, Study Says

Teens who skip school are less likely to graduate and attend college, but they don't see it that way. Plus, education news on a school shooting in Baltimore, an apparent suicide at Columbia University and a new kind of college ranking.

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School is boring. It starts too early. It’s more fun to hang with friends. Those are the top three reasons cited by students as reasons why they skip school, according to a new report based on interviews with 500 teenagers at local malls in 25 cities nationwide.

The report, from Get Schooled, a non-profit devoted to improving graduation rates, is one of several recent efforts to turn focus on absenteeism, which has been found to be a contributing factor to why kids fail to finish high school. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently found that up to 15% of students are chronically absent—meaning they miss at least one school day for every 10 days they attend—which has a damaging effect on their long-term academic progress.

According to Get Schooled, seven million kids—more than the entire student population of California—miss a month or more of school each year, in part because 46% of teens who skip school do so more than once a week.

Missing school has serious consequences. The report found students who miss more than 10 days of school are 20% less likely to graduate high school and have a 25% less chance of ever enrolling in college. But students have little awareness of these potential effects. While 48% of students surveyed said it was very likely they would fall behind in class if they skipped school a few times a week, only 18% thought they would be at a deficit if they skipped once a week. Read the full report here.

More education news from the week:
School Year Off to a Somber Start at Baltimore High School
A shooting took place in the cafeteria of Perry Hall High School in Baltimore on Monday, the first day of the 2012-2013 school year. According to the Baltimore Sun, several hundred students were in the cafeteria when the 15-year-old suspect shot a 17-year-old student. The injured student was taken to the hospital where, as of Thursday morning, he remained in critical condition. He is expected to survive. The Sun reports the school remains under heavy security following the incident. Read more here.

Columbia University Incoming Student Dead in Apparent Suicide
The school year at Columbia University is also off to a tragic start as an incoming freshman student died after she either jumped or fell from the 14th floor window of her dorm room. Martha Corey-Ochoa, an 18-year student from Westchester County, N.Y. who was valedictorian of her graduating class, was found unconscious by two of her fellow freshmen students at 11 p.m. on Monday just outside a residence hall where many freshmen live. Her parents had dropped her off at the university earlier that day, ahead of the start of the school year, which begins Sept. 4. Read more here.

Stat of the week: 
43% of job openings require a bachelor’s degree or more, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution that examined education levels, job openings and unemployment in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. between Jan. 2006 and Feb. 2012. Read more here.

A Different Kind of College Ranking
What are colleges doing for the country? That’s the question asked by Washington Monthly in its annual college rankings that rates schools not on resources or prestige but on their contribution to the public good. The schools that topped the 2012 list—the University of California-San Diego, Texas A&M and Stanford—were found to have success in recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting edge research and encouraging students to give back to their country. See the full list here.

Number: 60%
Percentage of high school students who are hopeful about the nation’s future—up from 53% in 2008, according to the 2012 State of Our Nation’s Youth report from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Read the full report here.

In case you missed it: The State of the Higher Education
The Chronicle of Higher Education released their annual State of the Academe this week with an exhaustive list of stats from all facets of higher education. Some interesting tidbits: The average salary for full professors is $197,000. 88% of students paid less than $15,000 in tuition and fees to attend public four-year colleges last year. China sent 157,558 students to study at U.S. colleges in 2010-11—more than any other country. 36% of college students nationwide identify themselves as minorities. See all their findings here.

Kayla Webley is a Staff Writer at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @kaylawebley, on Facebook or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.


Californians can not afford tuition at University of California.


dumb things happen at smart universities. The public’s UC Berkeley harvests family

savings, Alumni donations, supporter’s money and taxes. Cal. ranked #1 public

university total academic cost (resident) as a result of the Provost’s, Chancellor’s

‘charge resident’s higher tuition’. UCB tuition is rising faster than other



Cal ranked # 2 in

faculty earning potential. Spending on salaries increased 29% in last six years.

Believe it: Harvard College less costly.


University of

California negates promise of equality of opportunity: access, affordability. Self-absorbed

Provost Breslauer Chancellor Birgeneau are outspoken on ‘charging residents much

higher’ tuition.


Birgeneau ($450,000)

Breslauer ($306,000) like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving

them their entitled funding. The ‘charge instate students higher tuition’

skyrocketed fees by an average 14% per year from 2006 to 2011 academic years.

If they had allowed fees to rise at the same rate of inflation over past 10

years fees would still be in reach of middle income students. Breslauer Birgeneau

increase disparities in higher education, defeat the promise of equality of

opportunity, and create a less-educated work force.


Additional state tax funding

must sunset. The sluggish economy, 10% unemployment devastates family savings. Simply

asking for more taxes (Prop 30, 32, 38) to spend on self-absorbed Cal.

leadership, inefficient higher education practices, over-the-top salaries, bonuses,

is not the answer.

UCB is to maximize access to the widest number of residence at a reasonable

cost. Birgeneau Breslauer’s ‘charge Californians higher tuition’ denies middle

income families the transformative value of Cal.


The California dream:

keep it alive and well. Fire hapless Provost George W Breslauer. Clueless

Chancellor Birgeneau resigned. Cal. leadership must accept responsibility for

failing Californians.


UC Board of Regents  Calif.

State Senators, Assembly members.



 OK, let me explain.

 The biggest problems with US schools is the fact that they have a crappy curriculum and teachers who don't "motivate", but don't cover their bases.

 You see, a) if you have a crappy curriculum, children become disengaged, and b) if you have teachers who are not merely mediocre - but outright harmful - kids become disengaged too.

 Thus we should keep an eye on why kids want to skip school in the first place.

jane james
jane james

Sometimes, kid miss school because nothing is going on in school. Half days are known for being blow-off days for teachers. Instead of teaching, teachers show movies. Movies! You know what keeps kids in school? Engagement. Another aspect has to do with the type of classes your child is in. I have a child who is a "capable learner." That means she is in classes that challenge her and that the kids in her class all care about learning. No behavior problems and investment in their education.  My son was not as fortunate. He was a good kid but not as "capable."  I made him go but I understood his lack of interest because there was no investment by the teacher or the students who would rather not be learning. When you talk to anybody in the administration, it's the very first time they've heard a complaint about the teacher or this issue.  No acknowledgement that there is a problem unless something serious happens.


Did anyone notice the statistic that many of these kids came from a 2-parent home? But with attitudes like that is it any reason that are kids do so badly. Of course it's the teachers' fault for not making school fun enough.


"The average salary for full professors is $197,000. "

This value is for the University of Chicago (one of the highest paying institutions in the country).  It is at the 99th Percentile of Doctoral Institutions.  Most schools are below that classification.  The average is probably less than half that.


Hey Kayla,

The average salary for a full professor AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO is $197,000. It is less than half that amount at the majority of U.S. higher education institutions. Please read carefully and stop contributing to the misconception that professors make a lot of money.


And yet they will all expect someone to take care of them when they start to breed and cannot feed their families themselves.