A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that African American children living in the Midwest and the South are have a more difficult time achieving success.

The report titled Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, “explores the intersection of kids, race and opportunity.” Researchers used 12 indicators to measure success, including fourth grade reading level, eighth grade math levels, high school students graduating on time, percentage of teen girls having babies, children living in two-parent households, and more. While the report found no racial group, including whites, has met the national milestones, children of color have a particularly difficult time finding success.

Race for Results notes that for African American children (which, for the purposes of the report, includes Black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa), the situation is “dire,” particularly in Southern and “rust belt” states where opportunities for success are poorest.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 12.03.16 PMRace for Results states:

The states scoring the lowest on the index for African Americans are located in the South (e.g., Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina) and the Midwest (e.g., Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois). Conditions in the American South have always been especially difficult for African Americans. While great strides have been made, it will require public will and greater investments to overcome the vestiges of a system of institutional discrimination that till plague the region.

According to the report, 18-percent of U.S.-born Blacks read at or above grade level, compared with just seven-percent of Black immigrants. Similarly, 14-percent of U.S.-born Black eighth graders are proficient in Math, compared to a mere 2-percent of Black immigrants. While language barriers may be account for these disparities, Black immigrants are more likely to live in two-parents homes than their American-born counterparts (66% vs. 32%).

Race for Results writers concludes: “It is time to recognize that our nation can and must do much more to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential in life regardless of their race, ethnicity or community of residence.”

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  • ALM247


    Even with all of these obstacles, there are African American students who are still excelling. I noticed that in some parts of the south these high schools actually seem to have more African American valedictorians/salutatorians than ever.

    Our focus should be equipping our children to succeed, even in these challenging environments. If you prioritize education, your child will be fine. Also, don’t expect the school system to educate your child on everything. Take time out to read/do homework with your child. Also look into college prep classes to ensure that he or she will transition smoothly into higher education.

  • Emily

    I don’t understand the comparisons with Black immigrant children when Caribbean and African children are included under “African American”, in the report. I must not be understanding something. I’m trying to get it… 1st generation kids are being included in the African American numbers, but non-native children are being singled out? I’m not understand the purpose of that… I’m pretty sure, my interpretation is wrong somehow…

  • Vag Owner

    as someone from both the south & west coast…the south hands down is better for black families. there are a lot of successful blk families down here…two parent homes, married couples…the whole 9.

    the west coast definitely has more resources, but the blk community there is non-existent which helps other groups (latinos, whites, asians) that stick together stay on top financially

  • Valerie

    I have so much anxiety about school when it comes to my baby girl. After years of defunding/segregation I don’t trust the public school system. We are either doing an all girl school or homeschooling. She’s not even two years old, but I doubt conditions will improve by the time she’s ready.

  • Education in this country is out of control. There are schools that are performing and we have to find a way to restructure the under approving schools. This is a national problem, but we as parents have to make sure that we are involved in the schools to make sure that they are providing the necessary tools for our children. We have to read to them and help them with their homework. Go to meetings and meet with the teachers on a quarterly basis. Find out ways to help our children or correct behavior problems. My son just completed his first year in kindergarten in a specialty public school that we got in through the lottery. He’s enrolled in a complete French Immersion program and I met with the teacher 4 times this year. I emailed her monthly and wrote notes on his homework. I needed her to know that I was involved and that I wasn’t going to fail my son. I told her that I view education as a 3 legged stool (my son, the school and teacher and us as his parents) and that if one of those legs were loose it would need to be tightened. You have to be active and vocal in your schools and never stop teaching them at home. Be an advocate for them.

    • ALM247

      This is my first time hearing about the “3 legged stool”, but I love that approach! I will have to borrow that term.