Does Your Change Agenda Value Data Disaggregated by Race and Ethnicity?

Posted April 4, 2016
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog changeagendadata 2016

Min­neso­ta ranks first in over­all child well-being in the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book, a fact that might sug­gest the Gopher State is a place where all the chil­dren are above aver­age. But dig deep­er into the data, and anoth­er sto­ry unfolds — a sto­ry that shows Minnesota’s chil­dren of col­or face dim prospects if noth­ing changes for them.

To gain a deep­er under­stand­ing of how spe­cif­ic groups of peo­ple or spe­cif­ic areas are far­ing, it is impor­tant to dis­ag­gre­gate data. The Casey Foun­da­tion is pro­mot­ing that idea by pub­lish­ing By the Num­bers, the sec­ond install­ment in the Race for Results Case Study Series. The pub­li­ca­tion high­lights the need for the col­lec­tion, analy­sis and use of data by race and eth­nic­i­ty. Data bro­ken out this way helps to clear­ly under­score trends and dis­par­i­ties, devel­op tar­get­ed strate­gies and pro­vide greater accountability.

The city of Min­neapo­lis pro­vides a clear exam­ple of how using dis­ag­gre­gat­ed data can help shape leg­isla­tive agen­das. Instead of rest­ing com­fort­ably on the state’s top rank­ing in over­all child well-being, the Min­neapo­lis Board of Edu­ca­tion adopt­ed race equi­ty impact assess­ments when con­sid­er­ing leg­isla­tive pro­pos­als. These assess­ments helped to suc­cess­ful­ly amend a plan to close schools and reshape bound­aries that would adverse­ly impact chil­dren of color.

Advo­cates can demand the col­lec­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of dis­ag­gre­gat­ed data. When pub­lic insti­tu­tions and com­mu­ni­ty stake­hold­ers are deeply invest­ed and com­mit­ted to using race-equi­ty data in deci­sion mak­ing, they can more effec­tive­ly man­age and allo­cate resources to help chil­dren and families.

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