Arizona Summit Calls for Getting ‘Disconnected Youth’ Back to School – a MUST READ

| May 14, 2014

The cycle of civic and social problems that start when teens drop out of high school and fail to get jobs caught the attention of Arizona civic, business, foundation and education leaders, in part because of a recent national report that identified Phoenix as having one of the highest rates of such disconnected youth in the nation. With sobering data as a starting point for discussion, more than 200 people gathered on May 7 at the Disconnected Youth Summit, in Phoenix. The summit,  hosted by the Maricopa County Educational Service Agency, explored the problem, its short- and long-term impact on individuals and communities, and successful strategies for re-connecting disconnected youth in Phoenix and elsewhere in Arizona, particularly with educational options. Follow-up meetings will take place Oct. 15, 2014, and Feb. 12, 2015, said Dr. Don Covey, who leads MCESA as Maricopa County’s superintendent of schools.

Excerpt: Cities pay the cost for disconnection in more crime, costlier social services, reduced tax revenues and less economic competitiveness due to a less skilled workforce, Lewis said.

“Youth disconnection affects all of us, and we all have a stake in solving it,” Lewis said.

With the help of Helios Education Foundation and WestEd, a group of 10 Arizona mayors from Avondale, Gilbert, Goodyear, Mesa, Miami, Oro Valley, Phoenix, Sahuarita, Tempe and Tucson have formed the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable to partner with schools to reduce the number of disconnected youth.
“These challenging issues we have with dropouts and disconnected youth, they are not someone else’s problem,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton told summit attendees. “These are all of our issues to roll up our sleeves and be responsive to.”



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Category: Education, Events

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