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DC Action for Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan child and youth advocacy organization dedicated to using research, data, and a lens toward race equity to break down barriers that stand in the way of all kids reaching their full potential.

DC Action is the home of DC KIDS COUNT, the primary source for data on conditions and outcomes for kids’ well-being. DC Action's collaborative advocacy campaigns empower young people and all residents to raise their voices to create change.


What's New?


TANF anniversary brings more changes for struggling families

This week marks the 15th anniversary of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a program that provides cash assistance and career development services to qualifying families with dependent children. In the District, more than 16,000 families received TANF benefits in 2010, and the number is already greater in 2011. Read more in our brand-new policy snapshot.TANF was supposed to “end...

The afterschool solution

Reduced truancy, better test scores, and higher attendance and graduation rates -- you may be surprised to learn that these are all linked to something nearly every parent wants yet also has access to: high-quality afterschool programs. With school just around the corner (DCPS starts on Monday!), it’s not too late to sign your child up for an afterschool program...

Changing definition of "household"

The Washington Post had an exellent story today about how more families in the region are living in extended-family households. Adult children are moving back in with their parents, grandparents are now living with grandchildren and more families are sharing housing with non-relatives. It's all another consequence of the weak economy and job market, as well as the continuing effect...

What does "proficient" on the DC CAS really mean?

A report released today by the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) highlights vastly differing definitions of state proficiency standards, using a common benchmark called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to the report – which examines the wide range of state standards and how each state matches up to the NAEP – what D.C. considers to be...

Test scores reflect deep disparities by ward

Last month, OSSE released the 2010-11 D.C. Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) aggregate results. Scores were reported for elementary and secondary schools (as a whole) in both reading and math.DC Action took a look at the results and our analysis is presented in this new data snapshot: D.C. Student Test Scores Show Uneven Progress. Our major takeaways are:Both D.C. Public...

Playing chicken with our future

Watching President Obama's television address and the Republican response from House Speaker John Boehner last night, it was hard to forget that I wasn't watching a brilliant bit of political satire on "The Daily Show," but a real life crisis unfolding. The fact that the world's richest country is dancing on the brink of defaulting on our debt is hard...

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- and Kickball

Yesterday, a couple of us attended an event at the Reagan Building titled “Business in Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap.” The packed auditorium was filled with leaders in business and education who had gathered to discuss the steps we need to take to ensure our children are prepared to enter a globally competitive workforce.This is a familiar concern. As our...

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