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By PBN Staff
By PBN Staff
PROVIDENCE – Asian and Hispanic children in Rhode Island scored among the lowest in the country in a national study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation measuring how children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds compare on key educational and developmental milestones.
“Race to Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children” evaluated 12 indicators in four categories: early childhood, education and early work, family supports and neighborhood context. Each group receives a single composite score on a scale of one (lowest) to 1,000 (highest) which is then measured against children of other groups in the state.
In Rhode Island, African-American and Hispanic children were more likely than non-Hispanic white and Asian children to experience poverty and live in a single-parent family, and also reported lower rates of reading and math proficiency.
African-American children in the Ocean State scored a 372 on the Casey Foundation index, higher on the U.S. average of 345. Rhode Island’s white children scored highest, with an overall score of 740, compared with the national average of 704.
Asian (580) and Hispanic (336) children in Rhode Island scored lower overall than in the U.S. generally, where those groups scored 776 and 404, respectively. Rhode Island’s index scores for Asian and Hispanic children both ranked as the second-lowest in the country.
“The Race for Results index show distressing disparities for our children across racial and ethnic groups here in Rhode Island,” said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count, in a Tuesday release announcing the study results. “Meeting these key developmental milestones can determine how successful a child will be throughout their entire life. We must raise the bar of opportunity for all children to make sure they can achieve their full potential.”
According to the Casey Foundation, Rhode Island’s Hispanic child population grew 31 percent between 2000 and 2010, and Hispanic children now comprise 21 percent of the state’s children. By 2018, children of ethnic minorities will represent the majority of children in the United States, the study report stated.