Report reveals race barriers

A new report is uncovering the disparities between children from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Krystle Wagner
Apr 3, 2014
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released both the Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children and Kids Count reports, which look at 12 conditions encompassing early childhood to adulthood for those in different racial and ethnic backgrounds. Some conditions include infants born at normal birth weight, children enrolled in preschool, math and reading proficiency, and children who live in families with incomes at or above 200 percent of poverty.
Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Michigan project director for the Michigan League for Public Policy, said the report is the first time data has moved beyond state averages, and it looks at how children are doing by race and ethnicity. 
“The whole idea is to use the data as a starting point for taking action,” she said.
On an overall well-being scale — with 1,000 being the best — Michigan’s children of Hispanic, American-Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander decent ranked higher than the national average.
Zehnder-Merrell attributed the state’s economic downturn for why Michigan’s white and African American children are below the national average.
The nation’s average score for white children is 704, while Michigan’s is 668. The overall well-being for African American children in Michigan is 244, and the national average is 345.
The report also found that African American children in Michigan have worse outcomes than national peers on 8 of the 12 indicators.
To help make improvements, the Michigan League for Public Policy has recommended that the state reinstate the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit at 20 percent of the federal credit level, raise the childcare subsidy amount and eligibility level, and increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10.
Zehnder-Merrell said the recommendations would help improve child well-being because parents would be less stressed if they could afford to meet basic needs and focus on other issues.
She noted that the report would be shared with local and state policymakers to encourage them to take action.
“In America, we really do believe people should have an equal opportunity to succeed, and this data really shows us that’s not the case,” Zehnder-Merrell said. “We should be addressing those barriers.”
To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



The Annie E. Casey Foundation seems to blame the color of someone's skin for the problems they have in life. This is racism. Compare living conditions and parental influence, but lets skip the color jab.


They aren't blaming race for the problems. They are acknowledging the truth: African-American children -- on average -- fare worse than their peers. The study points to the grim fact that discrimination and segregation (de facto, not de jure) still are affecting the lives of young people, sixty years after the Brown v Board decision. It also points to the poverty trap: far more African-American children, as a percentage, grow up in and around poverty than do their Caucasian peers.

Another study, conducted by HUD (if I recall correctly), just found that today, in 2014, housing discrimination is still alive and well. Despite being treated pleasant by real estate agents, African-American house-seekers of similar income to white house-seekers were shown fewer houses, and wound up paying more in rent, in the same neighborhoods. This was examined in a series of nationwide, undercover investigations, and it shows that red-lining is still alive and well. I don't know whether racism is driving all of that, or more subtle factors, but I do know that it points to a continued inability of some people in our society to regard non-white people as equal members of the community.


Hmmm - Two stories in two days on the inequities in "well-being" facing minority children. Look forward to a big push for throwing more money at the issue, most likely involving raising taxes and thrashing Republicans.

And how can we help these children according to these "experts"? Pay people more for not paying taxes, raise the childcare welfare payment, and, of course, raise the minimum wage.

It would have been more informative if the article had noted that the Annie E. Casey Foundation is a left wing organization that supports increased spending for big central government solutions to issues like health care, education, welfare and employment, and is one of the big funders of ACORN (see voter fraud) and its latest incarnations.


So what do you propose to eliminate these gaps between white and non-white children, Vlad? Do you have a solution, or are you just attacking anyone who discusses the problem? Or do you simply think that it's natural that non-whites lag behind whites, due to cultural factors?


Probably cultural. These left wing foundations and groups are using minority children as tools to push their agenda - bigger government, higher taxes, raise minimum wage, etc.

How about answering this question - what are black leaders and black parents doing to improve the disparity between their children and white children? Disciplining their kids? Forcing them to speak proper English at home? Helping them with their homework (fat chance with Common Core)? Supporting charter schools? Criticizing the Teachers Union when their kids are in failing schools? NADA! That train of racism and white people being responsible for all of their ills has long left the station.


I see. Thank you for confirming my suspicions.


You are most welcome.

Tri-cities realist

So some Michigan children rank higher than the national average, and some rank lower. The below average scores are listed, but the above average scores are not disclosed. An oversight? Or just another deceptive tactic to raise the minimum wage?


This information is not suprising one bit. Black children are usually much more violent and unintelligent than their white or asian counterparts. Did you know that the average ACT score for muskegon heights was 13.5? IIRC a trained monkey can score a 13 on average! Not suprising once you consider the main ethnicity of the students at muskegon heights though, lol.


Thank you for proving my point that racism and ignorant bigotry are still alive and well. People like you are part of the reason that minority children have a hard time getting an equal shot at success in America.


Getting an “equal shot” works in different ways. Living in a family environment by far, the best way, the kids are being prepared to fulfill their way thru life. Other kids who have no idea who their father is who live in a less than desirable environment somehow have come to the reality that when they become of child bearing age that this will never happen to their kids. It’s not always black and white.


Jenkem you need to interact with some black once and awhile you'll realize they are not unintelligent.


The Achievement Gap between white and black students has been studied since the 1970's. Every societal and educational factor has been scrutinized, with extensive amounts of data collected from every age group and every condition, but finding an answer, let alone a solution, has been elusive. Every Republican and Democrat administration since 1980 has attempted to address the racial gap, and while the gap has narrowed slightly over the years, it is not truly significant. Stereotypical observations regarding IQ, parental involvement, home life, curricula, geography, political programs, heredity - all have been proven to be false and of no real consequence as to why the gap exists. It really is a conundrum.

On the other hand, the Achievement Gap between rich and poor students exists as well, and is actually greater than the racial gap.
"First, the income achievement gap (defined here as the average achievement difference between a child from a family at the 90th percentile of the family income distribution and a child from a family at the 10th percentile) is now nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap. Fifty years ago, in contrast, the black-white gap was one and a half to two times as large as the income gap." See more at:

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