California education receives below average report
By Mike Aldux
January 3, 2008
California parents will be disappointed with a report card released
today on the State of the State's Children.
The grades were mostly Cs and Ds and not enough Bs in subjects
like children's health, education and safety, according to the
report's author, Oakland-based nonpartisan organization Children
The group says its research finds children's health and education
in the state as "generally poor" and warns of worsening
conditions in the face of a budget deficit.
The report, which can be viewed online at www.childrennow.org/reportcard,
gave the state a D-plus on the subject of childhood obesity, claiming
one in three children in California is overweight or obese.
The state also got a D-plus in child safety and C-minuses in
early childcare, K-12 education, health insurance, oral health
and number of asthma cases.
The state's highest grade was a B-plus in after school education.
The report states, "More California children than ever have
access to after school programs, although ensuring program quality
remains a challenge."
The state got a pair of B-minuses in infant and adolescent health
and Cs in mental healthcare and health insurance. The state "has
reduced the number of uninsured children by half since the early
1990s ... yet 763,000 children still do not have health insurance
in California," according to the report.
The report also makes the striking claims that only 47 percent
of children ages 3 and 4 attend preschool, that just 65 percent
of high school students graduate on time, that 37 percent of children
ages 2 to 5 did not visit a dentist within the last year and that
fewer than half of families can afford the basics of housing,
childcare, food, health insurance and transportation.
"The health and education of California's kids are at a
pivotal point," Ted Lempert, Children Now president, said
in a statement. "It's now known that big, bold changes are
the only way to improve outcomes for our children and society.
We are looking for a strong commitment from the governor and the
Legislature to making comprehensive, systemic reforms to children's
health and education in 2008."
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.