Improving the quality, collection and analysis of North Carolina’s data on children and families is one of the goals of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading (Pathways) initiative. Pathways is partnering with the NC Institute of Medicine to kick off that work. A working group of data experts met this week to identify data gaps and think through what it would take to bridge them.
Pathways is a data- and research-driven initiative. The work started in 2015 with a Data Action Team of experts from NC’s leading universities, research institutes, government agencies, businesses and think tanks who looked at the research around what factors impact third grade reading proficiency. The Data Action Team identified shared birth-to-age-eight, whole child measures to put children on a pathway to grade-level reading and created the Pathways Measures of Success Framework. Pathways has also put together a report outlining the research base that connects each of the Measures of Success to the outcome of third grade reading proficiency.
Members of the Data Action Team came together again this week with additional partners to consider the state of the North Carolina data behind the Measures of Success framework. While some of the data are precise, collected regularly, analyzed and reported publicly, other data are not. For measures that do not have data, or do not have disaggregated data, the working group began identifying:
Why are those data not collected?
What are possible vehicle to collect them?
What resources would be required to collect them?
The group will continue their work through the summer. A meeting summary from the first meeting will be shared publicly when it is available.
The group is helping to pave the way for an NC Data Advisory Council that will work to raise awareness about the need for better data collection and analysis around children and family issues, prioritize which missing data measures we should focus on collecting first, and lead the way on improving data collection.
The NC Institute of Medicine is the backbone organization for the implementation of North Carolina’s federal Essentials For Childhood grant. Essentials For Childhood aims to build states’ capacity to promote the positive development of children and families, and specifically the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Essentials For Childhood in North Carolina has aligned with the Pathways Measures of Success for their child well-being indicators.