ASCD releases data reports for student success in 50 states

Thursday, May 15, 2014

ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, released new ASCD Whole Child Snapshots highlighting how well each state—and the nation—is meeting the comprehensive needs of its children. The snapshots feature data aligned with the five tenets of ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative—healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Together, the data provide a fuller picture of child well-being that extends beyond standardized test scores. The snapshots also suggest initial ideas for how communities can make targeted and innovative improvements to support the whole child and help their students become college, career, and citizenship ready. To see each indicator and the full Whole Child Snapshot for each state, visit www.ascd.org/wholechildsnapshots.

In addition to individualized state data, the ASCD Whole Child Snapshots also provide notable national data highlights:

  • 68 percent of U.S. children had both medical and dental preventive care visits in the past year.
  • 20 percent of high school students were bullied in the past year and 16 percent were victims of cyberbullying. Girls were cyberbullied at twice the rate of boys.
  • 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-old citizens voted in the November 2012 elections, compared to 62 percent of all voting-age citizens.
  • The national student-to-counselor ratio is 471 to 1, with only three states doing better than the recommended ratio of 250 to 1.
  • The nation’s high school graduation rate is the highest since the 1970s.

"Adequately preparing students for the future requires a more comprehensive approach to education that recognizes the crucial in-school factors and out-of-school influences that affect teaching and learning," said ASCD CEO and Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter. "We believe that families, educators, and communities must be dedicated to raising learners who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, and these snapshots and the accompanying action steps will bring us closer to reaching that goal."

ASCD’s policy team designed the snapshots to feature two important data points for each of the five Whole Child Tenets. The data expand on typical achievement data used to gauge student progress; represent various stages of development, from pre-K to beyond postsecondary education; and reflect the collaboration and shared responsibility of families, schools, communities, and policymakers in supporting the whole child. Here are some examples of the data indicators:

  • The percentage of students who have received preventive medical and dental care in the past year (used as an indicator for the healthy tenet).
  • The percentage of students who were bullied at school or who were victims of cyberbullying (measures used as indicators for the safe tenet).
  • The percentage of 18- to 24-year-old citizens who voted in the November 2012 elections (indicator for the engaged tenet).
  • The student-to-counselor ratio (indicator for the supported tenet).

The snapshots promote a broader perspective of education reform that prepares students for lifelong learning, career success, and active citizenship. The data give a sense of the nation’s progress in supporting the full potential of its students and should spur collaboration and coordination beyond school doors.

"The Whole Child Snapshots are meant to not only connect the whole child approach to existing data already measured across the states, but also provide specific recommendations to support the whole child," said David Griffith, ASCD’s director of public policy. "The action steps will help state leaders, educators, and citizens identify opportunities and priorities for improving the well-being and educational achievement of their students."

ASCD will continue to help educators and policymakers implement the whole child approach through ongoing projects. Such efforts include supporting ASCD affiliates' work on state-level whole child policies and collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model, which encourages greater alignment, integration, and collaboration between education and health organizations to improve each child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. More about ASCD’s commitment to learning and health can be found at www.ascd.org/learningandhealth.

ASCD Professional Learning Services works with school districts to implement sustainable whole child support through customized professional development programs for educators. These programs are customizable based on the unique needs of a district or school and are available as on-site, virtual, or blended solutions. More information on ASCD Professional Learning Services can be found at www.ascd.org/pls.

To view the Whole Child Snapshots for all 50 states, visit www.ascd.org/wholechildsnapshots. To learn more about ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, visit www.wholechildeducation.org. For more information on ASCD’s 2014 public policy priorities and legislative agenda, visit www.ascd.org/policy. You can also find out more about ASCD's other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD's innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.