San Francisco children are doing better, on average, than those in other counties across the state, according to a new study released Monday, but family advocates say the numbers don’t reveal the disparity between different income and racial subgroups.
The report, by the Oakland-based nonprofit, Children Now, provides data on California children’s health, education and family economic status for each of the state’s 58 counties. Not surprisingly, the data reveals that, according to the report’s “critical indicators,” children fare better in counties where families have a higher economic well-being.
For example, Marin County, which had the highest median income in the state at $112,155, also had the highest preschool enrollment, for children ages 3 and 4, and the highest percentage of elementary-age students who were proficient in math and English on the state’s standardized tests — 72 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
San Francisco, ranked 12th out of 58 counties with a median income of $71,307, ranked at No. 11 for elementary students meeting math targets (57 percent) and at No. 19 for meeting English targets (48 percent).
The report also breaks down some of the indicators by race, revealing gaps in how subgroups of children fare within each city. Student achievement between second and sixth-grade for San Francisco students is higher for Asian students — who average 59 percent proficiency in English — than African-American students — who averaged 19 percent proficiency on the same tests.
Similarly, although 47 percent of San Francisco children ages 3 and 4 are in preschool or nursery school — compared with 42 percent statewide — 63 percent of The City’s Asian families are enrolling their kids in the pre-K programs, while only 24 percent of Hispanic families do so.
Additionally, while 100 percent of San Francisco’s children have health insurance, in part due to The City’s Healthy Kids Program, which supports the children of all low-income families, 78 percent of children from families below the federal poverty line are designated as in “good nor excellent health,” according to the report data, compared with 96 percent of children from the wealthiest tier of families.