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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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There was great truancy. That seemed to have been known when I arrived. The chief truant officer in New York had said that it was the worst area for truancy in the city. Anyhow I was to find the causes of truancy and write a thesis on it for my masters degree, which I did. Incidental to finding out I visited every truant's family. We were in cooperation with the public schools and I visited each day as many of the children reported truant that day as I could. They didn't call them truants until they'd been absent three days without excuse. I did an enormous amount of visiting around the neighborhoods.

I was under supervision and it was the first time that I had ever had anybody tell me how to make a social survey. I'd invented it up until that time. I did the best I could. But there I had people who gave me suggestions - much older, more experienced people. People like Mr. William Leiserson were working on that same survey. He's a very distinguished fellow and a great authority on labor relations now. Miss Pauline Goldmark was directing the survey and was the head of it for the Russell Sage Foundation. There were others.

The New York tenement was more formidable, in many ways, than anything else I'd been in. There was an hostility that you felt. The door was locked. I know now why. There was so much petty thieving that they had to keep their doors

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