I just saw this: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/05/education/05reward.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th and it got me thinking, why is it always the same kids that are tardy and/or absent? For the most part, they are also amongst the poorest performing students, so which came first? High school is more than a bit different, the parents have much less control over the student's choice to get there or not, but in elementary school the behavior is apparent. It amazes me the number of parents that will pull their kids out of school to go on vacation. I could understand if they were going to travel to an area that might be 'a once in a lifetime educational experience,' such as seeing the Egyptian or Aztec ruins; a tour of Europe; something like that. We're talking though, a Disney Cruise, or Puerta Vallarta, not something that couldn't be had during the nearly 3 months in the summer, 2+ weeks at Christmas, or week in the Spring.