In a new report called "RACE FOR RESULTS" by the Annie E. Casey Foundation [AECF], building a path to opportunity for all children is now a race against time for America, which according to Census Bureau projections will see children of color represent a majority of children by 2018 and by 2030 the majority of the U.S. labor force will be people of color.
A Herculean effort that cannot continue on its current course if America is to out-compete the rest of the world in the future with a educated, trained and skilled workforce, today's big challenge and test of political will is to not let any single racial group fall behind. According to McKinsey & Company researchers, if the United States had closed the racial achievement gap and African-American and Latino student performance had caught up with white students by 1998, the nation's gross domestic product in 2008 would have been up to $525 billion higher.
If America is to remain prosperous for generations to come, the report says, all children must have a fair chance to succeed. "We are truly in a race against time to deliver better results for our kids."
In late January, CGE reported on Casey's "Early Reading Proficiency in the United States," a new statistical snapshot that should serve as yet another wake up call that while reading proficiency rates have improved over the last decade, large disparities still exist by race, income and disability status and for dual-language learners that could impair their and the nation's future.
The Race for Results Index [RFRI], for the first time, presents a new collection of data disaggregated by racial and ethnic groups and by state to illustrate how far the nation is from positioning all kids for success in school and in life. The RFRI will become a continuing part of AECF's data agenda, with updated reports planned for future years when hopes are that many more children will meet key milestones on the path toward opportunity.
AECF proposes four sets of recommendations: expanding data collection, connecting data to investments and policymaking, implementing promising and evidence-based programs and practices and encouraging economic inclusion. Taken together, the report says, "these recommendations will help ensure that all children and their families participate, prosper and achieve their full potential in an inclusive economy."
Expanding data collection: The collection, analysis and use of race and ethnicity data should be an integral part of every public system’s continuing improvement efforts, quality assurance, supervision and accountability processes.
Connecting data to investments and policymaking: Use data and impact assessment tools to target investments to yield the greatest impact for children of color.
Implement promising and evidence-based programs: Develop and implement promising and evidence-based programs and practices focused on improving outcomes for children and youth of color.
Encourage economic inclusion: Integrate economic inclusion strategies within economic and workforce development efforts.
"We ... believe it is time not only to think differently, but also to act urgently. The obstacles that block the path to opportunity for so many children are daunting to confront, but they must be addressed. As profound demographic shifts, technological advances and changes in global competition race toward us, no individual can afford to ignore the fact that regardless of our own racial background or socioeconomic position, we are inextricably interconnected as a society. We must view all children in America as our own — and as key contributors to our nation’s future," the report concludes.
In Ohio, where about 2.7 million children represent about 23-percent of the population, two major categories of Non-Hispanic African-American and White only under perform the national average.
AECF is a private philanthropy that aspires to create "a brighter future for the nation’s children by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow." For the last 25 years, AECF has produced KIDS COUNT®, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States.
The news article Casey 'Race for Results' Report:Opportunity for all children 'race against time' appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.
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