Every other week, The Imprint will feature one key indicator from Kidsdata, which offers comprehensive data about the health and well being of children across California.
In this installment, we examine the racial breakdown of self-reported truancy of California youth in grades seven, nine and eleven. The information was collected as part of the California Healthy Kids Survey between 2008 and 2010.
About one in five Latino and black students reported having skipped class or school in the past year, about twice the rate of Asian students who reported doing so. In the middle of those ranges, 16.5 percent of white youth reported skipping, as did 17.6 percent of Native American youth.
Skipping was more frequently reported among older students, according to the same survey. About 8 percent of seventh graders, 18 percent of ninth graders, and 29 percent of 11th graders in California reported they had skipped school or cut class in the past year.
Viewed either through the prism of race or grade, these numbers suggest that skipping is less frequent in California than in the nation at large. The High School Survey of Student Engagement, most recently published in 2010, cites the following of high school students:
- 50 percent report skipping class at least once
- 16 percent have skipped school or class “many times”
- 21 percent have contemplated dropping out of school
John Kelly is the editor-in-chief of The Imprint.