New Kids Count Report: Counting What Counts

Posted by on August 10, 2009

Formula for measuring poverty is failing vulnerable kids

In its 20th annual Kids Count report on children’s health and wellbeing, the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that serious shortcomings in national data are undermining identification of and assistance to America’s vulnerable children, according to The Associated Press. “Our progress in harnessing the power of data to optimize outcomes for vulnerable children and families falls far short of what is possible, far short of what is needed, and far short of what private industry has achieved in its efforts to maximize profits,” the authors write. The report urges the government to overhaul its formula for measuring poverty, strengthen efforts in the 2010 census to fully count children and minorities, and improve the national vital-statistics system to better track data on disadvantaged families. “We have embraced the language of accountability and the rhetoric of results-oriented programming,” writes the report, “But we’ve made much less headway toward putting these aspirations into effective practice.”

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