Report outlines struggles among minority children

Posted April 3, 2014

African-American, Latino and American-Indian children in North Carolina face greater obstacles to success than their peers, according to a new policy report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report is based on indicators that measure a child’s success from birth to adulthood, such as birth weight, academic performance, teen pregnancy and family income level.

“The most significant finding is that race still plays a factor in a child’s well-being and his or her opportunity to be successful later in life,” says Rob Thompson communications director for NC Child, an affiliate of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

According to the data, African-American, Latino and American-Indian students struggle the most academically, while Asian-American and Caucasian students tend to outperform their peers.

For example, only 20 percent of African-American fourth-grade students passed last year’s state reading exam, compared to about 50 percent of Asian-Americans.

“By 2018, children of color are going to be the majority of children in this country and state, so it’s really important that we do a good job preparing all children to be successful in life,” says Thompson.

He notes that the findings are especially significant as lawmakers grapple with important questions relating to education policy.

“We hope policymakers at the state- and federal-level will use this data to make good decisions about public policy and funding levels,” stated Thompson. “If we’re going to improve opportunity and outcomes for all children, we need to make strategic and robust investments.”

This report first appeared on WUNC/North Carolina Public Radio as part of their <a href="external_link-2">education coverage</a>.

Reema Khrais is the 2014 Fletcher Fellow focused on Education Policy Reporting. The Fletcher Fellowship is a partnership between WUNC
and UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication funded in part by the Fletcher Foundation.


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  • kmt Apr 10, 2014

    How can children of color thrive in a system designed to fail them. But this is spite on, race means everything in this country and there are mechanisms in place to ensure that doesn't change. Education is one key mechanism.