Ami Patel Hopkins, Icy Jones, Daniel Schiff, Darren Spielman
on Jun 4, 2015 10:29 AM
If you knew you could identify a 12-year-old child in danger of dropping out of high school, what would you do?
In May, Project U-Turn released "A Promise Worth Keeping: Advancing the High School Graduation Rate in Philadelphia," a review of the collective effort to significantly boost the number of Philadelphia's students completing high school. The report, an update to one that was released nine years ago, examines recent graduation and dropout rates in great detail.
Bill Hangley Jr.on May 21, 2015 11:20 AM
The faces of young Philadelphia can be found sitting around a table in the sunny classroom of a neighborhood high school.
There’s a young woman from Bangladesh who loves learning, but who just two years ago spoke hardly any English.
There’s a young African American man who wants to be doctor, whose uncle once told him that he wasn’t college material.
Paul Jablowon May 20, 2015 09:45 AM
For Chanel Butler, the lightbulb went on while she was sitting in a jail cell.
For Mario Torres, it happened when he was in his state representative’s office and someone there heard him talking about going for his GED.
For Nyshai Benson, it came when her options narrowed sharply. Her mother, tired of her hanging out and doing nothing, threw her out.
Dale Mezzacappaon May 20, 2015 08:15 AM
The on-time high school graduation rate in Philadelphia has risen from 52 to 65 percent over the last eight years. A new report shows that the most rapid progress has been among traditionally at-risk groups including Black males, Hispanics, students in foster care, and those involved in the juvenile justice system.
Connie Langlandon May 18, 2015 10:01 AM
At Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School, junior Gina Rodriguez said, she has found a place where she can be creative, express herself, and confide in teachers when she feels overwhelmed.
The principal, Lisette Agosto-Cintron, said the school is so small that everybody knows everybody.
Dan Hardyon May 18, 2015 09:58 AM
Nearing the end of his second term, Mayor Nutter can chalk up among his achievements a 13-point increase in the percentage of Philadelphia high school students getting a diploma. Raising the high school graduation rate to 80 percent by 2015 was one of his main goals when he took office in 2008.
by Isaac Riddle
At a school like Frankford High School, where one out of four students is absent on any given day, just getting students through the doors is a constant struggle.
According to recent Pennsylvania Department of Education attendance rates, in the 2011-12 school year, more than 11,500 students were absent daily from District schools.
On Wednesday, members of Project U-Turn, a city-based initiative focused on the dropout crisis, announced the launch of a new campaign that seeks to improve Philadelphia’s school attendance rate.
For Michelle Melendez, the distractions at her local high school were too much. She was not getting her work done; she was doing poorly. “I was a troubled child,” she said.
So she enrolled in the ASPIRA Bilingual Virtual Charter School in the fall of 2011 – the school was brand-new then – and she says she has no regrets.
Sandwiches piled high on a platter, a fresh vegetable tray, pizza, sodas, cake – all for nine young people, most with Latino surnames, most male, who were the center of attention on a recent day at Olney Charter High School.
Their achievement: showing up.
Sheila Hernandez was 15 when she quit Frankford High School in the 9th grade. There was a lot of fighting in the school, and Hernandez, a slight girl with her hair cut short, was also bullied over her appearance.