Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children—Good for Them, Good for Georgia

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Children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States by 2018

The Annie E. Casey Foundation today released a report, Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, which underlines the urgency in making that happen. According to the Casey Foundation, children of color will represent the majority of children in the United States by 2018, and by 2030 most of the labor force will be people of color. Yet multiple barriers—high poverty, crime, immigrant status, government policies throughout history, and geography—hold back or even push these children down the ladder of opportunity.

The Race for Results Index tracks 12 indicators to provide a better measure of the impact children’s race has on their chances to succeed as adults:

  1. Babies Born at Normal Birthweight
  2. Children Ages 3 to 5 Enrolled in Nursery School, Preschool or Kindergarten
  3. Fourth Graders Who Scored at or Above Proficient in Reading
  4. Eighth Graders Who Scored at or Above Proficient in Math
  5. Females Ages 15 to 19 Who Delay Childbearing Until Adulthood
  6. High-School Students Graduating on Time
  7. Young Adults Ages 19 to 26 Who Are in School or Working
  8. Young Adults Ages 25 to 29 Who Have Completed an Associate Degree or Higher
  9. Children Birth to 17 Who Live With a Householder Who Has at Least a High-School Diploma
  10. Children Birth to 17 Who Live in Two-Parent Families
  11. Children Birth to 17 Who Live in Families with Incomes Above 200 percent of Poverty
  12. Children Birth to 17 Who Live in Low-Poverty Areas (poverty <20 percent)

“Georgia’s future prosperity fundamentally depends on our ability to provide opportunities that will allow all kids to achieve their full potential and contribute to Georgia’s economy,” said Georgia Family Connection Partnership Executive Director Gaye Smith. “For that to occur, it is essential that children grow up in safe, thriving communities where their families have ample prospects for employment, affordable housing, adequate health care, and quality schools. Sadly, these opportunities are lacking for many children—especially those of color.”

The national index, which gives a single, composite score placed on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest), shows that no single racial group at the national level has all children meeting all milestones.

The national index reveals that Asian and Pacific Islander children have the highest score (776), followed closely by white children (704), while Latino (404), American–Indian (387), and African-American (345) children fall far behind. This pattern holds true in nearly every state, and Georgia is no exception.

Georgia ranks 34th in the nation in terms of how well white children are doing, 23rd for African-American children, and 38th for Latino children. Mirroring the national trend, Asian and Pacific Islander children in Georgia have the highest index score (791), followed by white children (664), while Latino (368) and African-American (362) children fare significantly worse.

Investing in our children is critical to ensuring our state’s and our nation’s prospects for a strong, secure future. The report recommends four ways to help ensure that all children and their families achieve their full potential by:

  • expanding data broken out by race,
  • connecting data to investments and policymaking for the greatest impact on minority children,
  • implementing promising and evidence-based programs and practices focused on improving outcomes for children and youth of color, and
  • encouraging economic inclusion.

“We have much ground to cover before all children, especially those of color, are positioned to thrive,” said Garry McGiboney, deputy superintendent of External Affairs at the Georgia Dept. of Education. “This index can better inform policymakers who are working to develop policies and programs that benefit all children, so they may target strategies and investments where they are most needed.”

The new Race for Results index offers a fresh perspective of looking at the impact of children’s race and ethnicity on their opportunities to thrive and achieve success—both for themselves and for their communities. The index assesses the circumstances these children face in four areas—early childhood, education and early work, family supports, and neighborhood context—that hinder, or even prevent, their progress.

“We’re doing some great work in Georgia around quality early care and learning, getting all children to read proficiently by the end of third grade, paving college and career pathways to success, and most recently, improving school climate,” said McGiboney. “All these efforts demonstrate Georgia’s will to build and improve pathways to opportunities for all children—and especially those of color—in our state.”

Read Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.

Rebecca Rice
Georgia KIDS COUNT Coordinator
404-527-7394 (x103)

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director
404-527-7394 (x113)

Follow us on Twitter @gafcpnews.

For interactive statewide data, visit Georgia KIDS COUNT at

Georgia Family Connection Partnership (GaFCP) is a public-private partnership created by the State of Georgia and funders from the private sector to assist communities in addressing the serious challenges facing children and families. GaFCP also serves as a resource to state agencies across Georgia that work to improve the conditions of children and families. Georgia KIDS COUNT provides policymakers and citizens with current data they need to make informed decisions regarding priorities, services, and resources that impact Georgia’s children, youth, families, and communities. Georgia KIDS COUNT is funded, in part, through a grant from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center is a comprehensive source of information where you can download this year’s complete Data Book and access the new mobile site being launched using your smart phone.