Sunday, December 21, 2014

How this series was reported

Five Inquirer reporters devoted a year to examining violence in the Philadelphia public schools, conducting more than 300 interviews with teachers, administrators, students and their families, district officials, police officers, court officials, and school violence experts.

The Inquirer created a database to analyze more than 30,000 serious incidents - from assaults to robberies to rapes - that occurred during the last five years. That information was supplemented by district and state data on suspensions, intervention and 9-1-1 calls. Reporters also examined police reports, court records, transcripts, contracts and school security video.

The Inquirer also enlisted Temple University to conduct an independent survey of the district's 13,000 teachers and aides. More than 750 teachers and aides responded to questions about violence and its impact on students' education.

The newspaper also obtained internal district documents detailing violent incidents during the past five years. On specific cases, reporters interviewed victims, perpetrators, police, attorneys, witnesses, and attended court hearings.

One reporter had regular access over nearly six months to students, teachers and administrators inside South Philadelphia High School, one of the city’s most dangerous schools.

Recent Reports

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations report on Philadelphia School District’s response to violence and intergroup conflicts

Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Audit of the Philadelphia School District (Pa. Auditor General)

Zero Tolerance in Philadelphia (Youth United for Change and The Advancement Project)

Pushed Out: Youth Voices on the Dropout Crisis in Philadelphia (Youth United for Change)

The African American and Latino Male Dropout Taskforce Report (Philadelphia School Reform Commission) – September 2010

Platform of the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools (Campaign for Nonviolent Schools)