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Race for Results: report looks at barriers to success

A new report shows children of color face racial and socioeconomic barriers to success.

The Kids Count Race for Results report was released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and was the subject of a panel discussion Wednesday in Omaha. The report says 57 percent of black and 52 percent of Latino children are in early childhood education in Nebraska, compared with 62 percent of white students. Black and Latino students also fell behind white students when it came to proficiency in reading and math test scores.

Carolyn Rooker, executive director of Voices for Children in Nebraska, says improving outcomes for Black and Latino students has economic benefits.

“Children of color will represent a majority of children by 2018. That’s in three and a half years. By 2030, the majority of the U.S. labor force will be people of color. Research shows if the U.S. had closed the racial achievement gap and African-American and Latino’ students performance had caught up with white students’ performance by 1998, the Gross Domestic Product in 2008 would’ve been up to $525 billion higher.”

The report makes four recommendations. One is to make inclusion strategies part of workforce development efforts. Another is to develop practices and programs that work to improve outcomes for children of color.