Last month, the world lost one of its greatest champions in human development and global health, Hans Rosling. Among other things, Mr. Rosling became internationally famous for visualizing complicated data and making it understandable, interactive and engaging for all audiences (even if it meant proving we are often no smarter than a chimpanzee). He taught us that despite all of the world’s ongoing challenges, we have made great social progress over the past several decades. Take for instance that:
California United Ways are working together to help kids enter school ready to learn, from preschool through high school, and graduate high school ready for college and career. As we kick off a new school year, please join us in expanding educational opportunity for California's low-income students. To donate, please visit http://igfn.us/vfu/STUDENTS.
These days, many parents worry about whether their children will have the same opportunities that they enjoyed growing up. The American Dream increasingly seems out of reach for more and more of us. Inequality has increased tremendously over the past 30 years--California’s GDP has grown over 123%, while median household income has grown only 7%.
The best way to assure our children grow up in a society where opportunity is growing, not shrinking, is to expand opportunity for all children. Perhaps the most effective and affordable way for us to do that is ensure all low-income children have access to high quality preschool.
Three months ago, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released its latest math and reading results from “The Nation’s Report Card,” an assessment typically conducted every two years that measures how well students perform in core subject areas. It is arguably the best tool we have to measure how K-12 students are performing academically across states.
The results for California students in both 4th grade reading and 8th grade math are encouraging. As illustrated in the charts below, California students have improved 11 points, on average, in 4th grade reading since 1998, and 16 points, on average, in 8th grade math since 2000.