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New Data Tool Shows California’s Children Face Troubling Inequities by Race and Across Counties

November 15, 2016


OAKLAND, Calif.—While California’s 58 counties have made some gains for children, stark educational disparities for the state’s children of color remain, according to the 2016–2017 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being, an interactive online data tool released today by Children Now. The Scorecard provides snapshots of children’s well-being in each of California’s 58 counties.

Scorecard indicators such as “Three- and four-year-olds who attend preschools,” “Third graders who read at grade level,” and “Twelfth graders who graduate on time,” show that too few families of color have access to the supports that will give their children a strong start to reaching key educational milestones.

For example, in Merced County, 40% of Asian students and 28% of white students are proficient in math in eighth grade, compared to only 5% of African American students. While 43% of Latino students in Mariposa County are proficient in math in eighth grade, only 12% of Latino students are hitting the same benchmark in Madera County.

“Leaders across California need to take a hard look at the Scorecard data and work together on policy solutions to improve the well-being of children,” Children Now President Ted Lempert said. “We need to  invest more in quality early childhood  programs, increase access to the health screenings  and quality mental, oral and physical health supports that children need, and make sure that all kids, especially kids of color, have access to excellent schools and teachers from the very start.”

About the Scorecard: 

The 2016–2017 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being delivers online, county-level data that is organized by categories of health, education, child welfare, and economic well-being to encourage sharing of best practices, foster collaboration, and support policymakers and local advocates for improving the lives of kids in their communities. The Scorecardmeasures 28 key indicators of child well-being in California and across the state’s 58 counties. With a five-star rating system to allow for quick data analysis, the Scorecard also contextualizes the data using a two-year comparison that highlights race, ethnicity, California averages, and other counties’ performances.

The 2016–2017 California County Scorecard of Children’s Well-Being is available here

A tutorial video for the Scorecard can be found here.

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About Children Now: Children Now is a nonpartisan umbrella research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a grassroots network of more than 1,800 business, education, parent, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more about us at www.childrennow.org.

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