Dropouts: Blame it on boredom

Nearly six in 10 students who dropped out of Philadelphia schools left because they were bored or not engaged, according to a report released Thursday by a local youth organization.

The survey, titled “Pushed Out: Youth Voices on the Dropout Crisis in Philadelphia,” was conducted by Youth United for Change. In the city, only 57 percent of students graduate in four years and 63 percent in six years.

The survey polled a total of 273 out-of-school youth and students in alternative schools. The four major reasons cited for dropping out were boredom and engagement; discipline and climate; teaching and classroom learning; and out-of-school issues.

“Nobody knows this better than we do because we’re the ones that it’s happening to,” said Ebony Baylis, a YUC member who helped conduct the survey. Baylis left Lowell Elementary School in third grade before reconnecting at an E3 Center and getting her GED. She is now a full-time student at Harcum College.

Tomas Hanna, associate superintendent for the Philadelphia School District, said the district was “thrilled to hear from the voices of young people” and sees the report aligning with the work of the African-American and Latino Dropout Taskforce.

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