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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?


Saluting the newest scholars in DC's early childhood workforce

As an advocate, I feel at times a few steps removed from the families we work to support, but at an event I attended last Friday, it all came together. I had the opportunity to attend a celebration of the first anniversary of T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood DC, an innovative scholarship program that allows child care workers to earn college degrees...

Pediatricians can do more to spur healthy brain development

Editor’s Note: The American Academy of Pediatrics launched Healthy Child Care America in 1995, a project to promote quality early education and child care experiences for families and communities. Chapters across the country are launching early brain and child development programs. We invited Dr. Lee Beers from Children’s National Medical Center and a member of our D.C. KIDS COUNT advisory...

Middle schools and "exit rates"

We're still processing all the great information from yesterday's D.C. Council Roundtable on Middle Schools. HyeSook testified and we circulated drafts of our upcoming issue brief on middle school. Bill Turque at the Post quoted from our report in this blog post yesterday: "Can D.C. keep middle schoolers from 'teetering on the ninth-grade cliff?" Thanks for the coverage, Bill!Meanwhile, in...

Middle schools are "the weakest link"

D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown has staked out middle school reform as his turf. Today he convened a "roundtable" style public hearing to learn more about what's going wrong in the middle grades -- 6, 7 and 8 -- and what can be done to turn them around.DC Action Executive Director HyeSook Chung testified that the middle grades are the...

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...

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