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Findings from interviews with out-of school youth

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project (EPOP) conducted a substantial non-academic survey through 50 interviews this summer where out-of-school youth responded to specific and open-ended questions. The youth were contacted through community organizations, youth service providers and other community leaders in a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods. Respondents were African American, Latino, Asian, and White youth ages 14-21. Here is a summary of responses provided by EPOP.

Did the School District contact you directly when you left school?
Phone call/Attempt at retention 10%
No personal communication 90%

Were your parents aware when you left school?
Aware 88%
Unaware 12%

Do you want to return to some type of school?
Yes 80%
No 20%

Have you had any contact with truancy officers?
Yes 18%
No 82%

Have you had any contact with police?
Yes 30%
No 70%

When did your school problems begin?
Elementary 24%
Middle 8%
High 68%