p,h1,h2,h3 { -webkit-hyphens: manual !important; -moz-hyphens: manual !important; -ms-hyphens: manual !important; hyphens: manual !important }
top of page

Youth Truth Surveys: Analyses, reports, terminology explained

From https://youthtruthsurvey.org/about/ 

  • “Youth Truth was born out of a conversation between the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation back in 2008. The Foundation was seeking to hear from more voices…

  • Youth Truth generates revenue from fee-for-service contracts and support from philanthropic organizations…

  • "Youth Truth is based on the simple but powerful premise that when you get timely feedback from those you’re trying to serve, and really listen to that feedback to make changes, you get better.”

The Purpose @ Rose Tree Media School District

From Rose Tree Media School District’s website – Youth Truth Survey 2021-2022, Youth Truth Survey 2022-2023

  • To assess the status of “…factors which contribute to the cultures of the schools in the RTMSD… to build a culture of belonging and inclusivity through honoring dignity…”.

  • To improve the status of these factors – “Principals share this data at each building and will use the data for building-level planning and goal-setting.” 

  • After the 1st RTMSD YT survey, administered in October 2021, a report was prepared by the Delaware County Intermediate Unit and presented on March 10, 2022. The Overview Report discusses the District’s status of its Inclusivity & Belonging Program, referred to the existence of the recent Youth Truth survey’s data points and the importance a feedback mechanism. However, it does not report any data points or include Action Items and measures assess improvement in selected issues which are apparent in the YT survey report of 2021-2022.

  • After the 2nd RTMSD YT survey, the school district reported to the school board on June 8, 2023, it Youth Truth Survey Building Goals Overview. This report does document the focus of each school building’s Goal for 2022-2023, a specific YT survey question/issue which was to be addressed, Action Steps to achieve improve its response this year, and subsequent result after taking those actions, as determined by the 2022-2023 YT survey response for the same question.

NOTE: MTRTHC will share and remark on the success of these actions on these in an upcoming weekly report.


​The QUESTIONS are posed to students in other schools, so YT can contrast Rose Tree Media's stakeholders responses to how other schools’ students/parents.staff responded to them.

  • Responses are on a 5-point scale.

    • 1 = Strongly Disagree

    • 2 = Disagree

    • 3 = Neither Agree nor Disagree

    • 4 = Agree

    • 5 = Strongly Agree​

  • Are phrased so that responses that “Agree” are positive / good and “Disagree” indicate a problem.

  • Responses are reported as the average of the answers by all of the students who answered the question in the school.

  • Only one “subgroup’s” answers are broken out separately – Grade of the respondents. Note: “Other” is a subgroup where the respondent did not enter the Grade he/she is in.

  • Only one “subgroup’s” answers are broken out separately – Grade of the respondents. Note: “Other” is a subgroup where the respondent did not enter the Grade he/she is in.

  • YT designs 2-6 questions to support “Themes”. The District contracted to include these themes in its survey and compare its responses to peer districts’ responses: Engagement, Academic Challenge, Culture, Belonging & Peer Collaboration, Relationships, College & Career Readiness, Educational & Mental Health, Obstacles to Learning, In Students’ Own Words,. (YT offers 14 additional themes.)

  • The District also contracted to include in its survey themes which have no comparable data from peer districts: Math Learning & Mindsets and Demographics.

  • In all, Penncrest students were asked to respond to 172 questions in this year’s YT survey.


  • The same questions are asked of all of the High School students – 9th graders and Seniors’ responses are averaged.

  • Only responses from “SUBURBAN” schools are compared to Penncrest student responses.

  • YT considers “suburban” to mean “located in an urbanized area, but outside of a principal city”

  • YT surveys 181 suburban schools.  Note: YT surveys 578 school districts in total across 13 “cohorts” or varieties.

  • In YT’s Key Measures (themes level) Trend analyses only, a sub-cohort of “PA schools” is used to contrast with RTMSD’s students’ responses. Note: there are 14 PA school district’s in YT’s dataset. These include Garnet Valley, Great Valley, Sun Valley, Downingtown.

  • PHS students were asked to answer identifying DEMOGRAPHIC information but YT did not break-out the survey responses for any of these –

  • Race and also Person of Color,

  • Gender and also Transgender Identity and also LGBTQ+ and also Sexual Orientation

  • GPA and also Special Education and also English Language Learner

  • Eligible for Free Lunch

  • Caregiver’s education level


  • Key Measures / Trend charts are provided only for each Theme (not also for each question. This repeats the Current Survey’s averaged score and percentile results, with its cohort scale and adds a Trend Data line chart for the Theme Previous survey’s averaged score versus the Current Score.​

  • Theme Summary Percent Positives table – for only the “Agree” and “Strongly Agree” responses, displays year-to-year scores for “Your School”, for a Typical YT School, and a Typical Suburban School. Note: YT uses the median as “typical”.

Percent Positives.png

PERCENTILE: This is the term used by YT to contract Penncrest students’ averaged responses to the responses of the 181 SUBURBAN school districts in YT’s dataset. YT’s description of PERCENTILE is “Results are described as “higher than typical” when they fall at or above the 60th percentile in the comparative dataset – that is, higher than 60 percent of the other…elementary schools that have participated in Youth Truth. Conversely, results are described as “lower than typical” when they fall below the 40th percentile, -- or, lower than 60 percent of the other participating schools”.

For every Theme and each question in the theme, the YT report provides these analyses:

  • Percentile chart which contrasts the averaged response and percentile for the school in this survey with its own responses in a prior year, with its cohort (ex., PA schools) scale, and for each surveyed Grade.

  • 8-horizontal bar Percentile Charts are provided for each Theme and each question.

  • Some survey questions are phrased such that the usual Agree/Disagree Response is not appropriate. For these, single data point percent horizontal bar charts are used (with the negative/”not used” value implied), first for all students compared to cohort schools’ responses, then repeated for the Penncrest Grades.

The Appendix Documents

  • Penncrest’s two surveys’ responses and the number of responses to every question (almost every question was not answered by all of the responding students).

  • Curiously, Penncrest’s total population decreased between 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 and

  • The Senior class’ responses decreased significantly – from 222 to 163 (27%). Note: with the 12th grade’s responses being consistently the most negative of all of the grades, what might the survey’s results have been if the opinions of the 59 Seniors who did not respond had been included?

  • All of the school districts, grouped by state, who have responded to YT’s surveys. (California has the most, by far.)

  • The distribution of demographic responses. Most of these are compared to Penncrest in 2021, YT’s suburban schools, and all YT schools.

  • YT’s methodology for survey analyses.

  • YT’s school cohort descriptions and number of schools in each cohort.

bottom of page