Lessons Learned:
The Hard Way and Other Ways
The Boston Indicators Project
DATA DAY 2012
January 27, 2012
The Boston Indicators Project
A partnership of the Boston Foundation, City of
Boston and Metropolitan Area Planning Counci...
The Project has a long time frame—
through 2030—and two tracks:
1) Data 2) Civic Agenda
1997 2000
200620042002
2030
Long
T...
Boston’s Education Pipeline:
A Report Card
Lessons Learned the Hard Way
1. Good data and indicators are necessary but not sufficient. The
journey from data to impact...
1. Good data and indicators are
necessary but not sufficient.
Data
Indicators
Goals
Milestones
Analysis & Reports that “Te...
2. A “Both/And Approach” Works Best
Create the flexibility and scope to
make connections across
disciplines, sectors, and
...
The Boston Indicators Project Framework:
10 Sectors…
Civic Vitality
Cultural Life
& the Arts
Economy
Education
Environment...
…and 6 “Cross-Cutting” Topics
Boston
Neighborhoods Children & Youth Competitive Edge
Fiscal Health
Sustainable
Development...
Boston’s indicators are registering the impact
of global forces:
Population
Growth
Technological
transformation
Economic
G...
3. Behind data snapshots lie
important trends, comparisons
and disparities
Don’t trade complexity
for simplicity without
u...
“Massachusetts ranks #1 on NAEP in 8th
grade math”: White and Asian students at the top,
black & Latino students with
Alab...
3rd
Grade Reading Proficiency
Boston Public Schools 2010 – 37%
(with a range from 10% to 70% by school)
Headline: “The BPS achievement gap in
passing the 10th
Grade MCAS English
Language Arts (ELA) has almost closed”
… but when Proficiency—or grade-level
mastery—is used, a wide gap persists
w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
“Boston has a highly educated workforce”:
1990 – 2008: Black & Latino adults...
Graduation rates at local colleges at which a high
percentage of BPS grads enroll
vary from 6% to 80%
Behind the Headline :
Boston’s Adults without a High School Diploma
by Census Tract, 2005-2009
Behind the Headline :
Boston’s Adults without a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
by Census Tract, 2005-2009
Racial/Ethnic Concentration in Greater Boston:
% White (blue); % People of Color (yellow)
By Census Tract, 2005-2009
Headline: “Massachusetts, Greater Boston
and Boston are outperforming the nation in
unemployment rates”
Behind the Headline: Boston workforce
participation rates by educational attainment
4. A commitment to constructive
change, combined with
analytical skills,
data visualization tools
and good data,
is
POWERF...
Boston Census Tracts
by Percent African American
Countries with Gini Ratio above .51
This Map Shows that a Gini Ratio of ....
Concentration of Housing Foreclosures
Healthy People in a Healthy Economy
State Budget FY’01 – ’10: In MA – and the US,
health care costs are crowding out
inves...
In Boston, rising rates of obesity and
hypertension are concentrated in low-income
neighborhoods of color
Healthy People i...
A coalition to make Massachusetts the
national leader in health and wellness
LAUNCH picture
Healthy People in a Healthy Ec...
Greater Boston’s
Emerging Civic Agenda
w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
World-Class
Human
Capital
21st
Centur...
A BENT CURVE…
w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
The Open Indicators Consortium
Weave
open source
data visualization
Thank you.
The Open Indicators Consortium
Weave
open source data visualization
developed by students and faculty at
The University of...
Arizona (Arizona State University)
Metro Atlanta/Atlanta GA (Neighborhood Nexus Partnership)
Metro Boston/Boston MA (Metro...
Data Day 2012_Kahn_Using Indicators-Boston Indicators
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  • Good morning.
  • The Boston Indicators Project is coordinated at the Boston Foundation in partnership with the City of Boston and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council .
    Its goals are to:
    Democratize access to data & information;
    Foster informed public discourse; and
    Track progress on shared civic goals.
  • When we began this project, we expected that it would simply track incremental change through 2030 – Boston’s 400th anniversary. Who knew that this decade would prove to be one of the most volatile in human history — technologically, demographically, economically and environmentally?
    Because we synthesize a broad range of data, research and community perspectives, our biennial reports are viewed as quite prescient.
    Each in its own way has sounded an alarm: our world is changing very rapidly, and we must respond.
    2003 – Creativity and Innovation , a Bridge to the Future
    2005 Thinking Globally, Acting locally: A Regional Wake Up Call
    2007 A Time Like No Other: Charting the Couse of the Next Revolution
    2009: A Great Reckoning, Healing a Growing Divide
  • We also produce occasional special reports, such as this comprehensive report card on Boston’s education pipeline from birth through formal schooling into adulthood.
    This summer, we completed a report on poverty in boston
  • We have learned that indicator reports alone do not produce change.
    Something more must be done – building a consensus about key challenges and opportunities and developing strategic alignment on a set of shared goals.
  • But Boston, as must be true for Denver, too, is now registering the effects of global forces.
    And the pace of change is accellerating
  • so when headlines trumpeted Massachusetts’ first-place finish among all states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, “the nation’s report card,” in 8th Grade math, (on the left) we disaggregated the data again. – the chart of the right
    Massachusetts Asian and white 8th graders, on average, scored at the very top,
    Bay State African American and Latino 8th graders, on average, ranked between Louisiana and West Virginia near the bottom.
    The same pattern
  • We used to report the average result in 3rd grade reading, for example, but now we can see whole range of schools, with reading proficiency from 10% to 70%.
    And we can match school location and student population to performance, even by class.
    We have come to understand the importance of looking at our indicators in relationship to one another.
    For example,
  • And while the Boston Public Schools have made significant progress in closing the achievement gap in to less than 5 points in 2010 in passing rates on our statewide standardized test, with great gains since 2000 among black and Latino students.
  • when Proficiency is used as the standard – here on the 10th grade English Language Arts exam – it’s clear that we still have a long way to go.
  • The increasing percentage of Black and Latino children in Boston is not translating into higher rates of educational attainment among those groups, cementing advantage and disadvantage by race/ethnicity and placing the region at risk of not having the talent it will need in years to come
  • However, students with the highest achievement rates tend to go to more selective 4-year colleges with the highest completion rates, again reinforcing advantage and disadvantage
    while our community colleges have much lower rates of completion – 6 – 15%.
    We at the Boston Foundation are now partnering with others to upgrade our community college system statewide to address this disparity.
  • This is the part of Boston with the highest concentration of adults with less than a high school diploma...
  • the Roxbury-Dorchester-Mattapan Corridor – which also, not surprisingly, with has lowest percentage of adults with a Bachelor’s degree.
  • It is also that part of boston – and the region – with the lowest percentage of whites, underscoring the fact that boston and the region still suffer from high rates of racial concentration and isolation
  • We now put our measures in a global context and report on national and state cyclical trends to understand change in Boston.
    Here you see our state’s roller coaster ride in employment since 2000.
    We are still down from the peak.
  • And we can see the two-tiered effect on unemployment in Boston, with those without a high school diploma at Depression levels of labor force participation, on the far left, and near-full employment for those with a BA of higher, on the far right, in 2009, the nadir of the recession.
  • foreclosures
  • In fact, rising health care cots are now crowding out Massachusetts state investments in the principal determinants of health –
    This chart shows state spending from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2010, with health care spending for Medicaid, Medicare and public employees rising by 76% at the expense of:
    elementary, secondary and higher education
    community safety
    public health
    environment and recreation.
  • …and obesity, with rising rates of preventable hospitalizations for hypertension and diabetes, despite the fact that in the Commonwealth of MA, we spend more per capita on health care than any state except Hawaii.
  • To response to this cycle of rising health care costs and declining investments in the determinants of health -- following another round of research – TBF and NEHI launched the Healthy People-Healthy Economy initiative in November 2010.
    The initiative aims to stem the rising tide of preventable chronic illness and the threat it poses to health as well as fiscal stability and economic competitiveness.
    At a recent event, director of your excellent intiative Live Well Colorado was the keynote speaker, and helped us to understand what Colorado is doing to be #1 among all states in weight and fitness.
  • The bottom line is that our indicators and the data behind them have given us the confidence to develop and track progress on a shared civic agenda in the following 4 categories:
    This agenda creates a shared frame of reference and focus on key challenges and opportunities
    And it uses data to create “civic common ground” -- greater collaboration, data-driven policies, informed action and aligned resources
  • One question that remains, given the current set of challenges we face, is this: Can we really bend these curves?
    And the answer is: Yes, we can.
    This chart, for example, shows a 91% reduction in childhood lead poisoning in Boston from 1992 to 2008 achieved by a high degree of focus and collaboration.
  • You may have noticed some interesting visualizations in my presentation.
    These come from a partnership…
  • And with that, on behalf of our future leaders, thank you.
  • You may have noticed some interesting visualizations in my presentation.
    These come from a partnership…
  • Data Day 2012_Kahn_Using Indicators-Boston Indicators

    1. 1. Lessons Learned: The Hard Way and Other Ways The Boston Indicators Project DATA DAY 2012 January 27, 2012
    2. 2. The Boston Indicators Project A partnership of the Boston Foundation, City of Boston and Metropolitan Area Planning Council ITS GOALS ARE TO: 1. Democratize access to data & information; 2. Foster informed public discourse; 3. Track progress on shared civic goals. w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
    3. 3. The Project has a long time frame— through 2030—and two tracks: 1) Data 2) Civic Agenda 1997 2000 200620042002 2030 Long Term Vision Indicators Data & Reports …updated website, report every two years to measure progress towards a vision for 2030 ---deepening data, creating tools for access to data, training and education Civic Agenda civic leadership, deliberation, and action on a high-leverage civic agenda 200620042002 Benchmarks aligned to vision for 2030 Project Launch Identifying indicators framework 1st Report The Wisdom of Our Choices
    4. 4. Boston’s Education Pipeline: A Report Card
    5. 5. Lessons Learned the Hard Way 1. Good data and indicators are necessary but not sufficient. The journey from data to impact can take longer than you think. 2. To foster critical thinking and real systems change, “both/and” works best: geographically nested micro and macro data; qualitative and quantitative measures, sector-specific and cross- cutting categories; the engagement of community stakeholders and academic experts, civic leaders, policy makers. 3. Unpack indicators - Behind simple data snapshots lie long-term trends, comparisons and disparities– and complex truths: Where feasible, show indicators over time, by race/ethnicity, by age, by household income and geographic comparisons. 4. A commitment to constructive change combined with analytical skills, data visualization tools and good data is
    6. 6. 1. Good data and indicators are necessary but not sufficient. Data Indicators Goals Milestones Analysis & Reports that “Tell a Story” Strategies/Agenda Alignment Action Impact w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
    7. 7. 2. A “Both/And Approach” Works Best Create the flexibility and scope to make connections across disciplines, sectors, and geographies.
    8. 8. The Boston Indicators Project Framework: 10 Sectors… Civic Vitality Cultural Life & the Arts Economy Education Environment & Energy Health Housing Public Safety Technolog y Transportation
    9. 9. …and 6 “Cross-Cutting” Topics Boston Neighborhoods Children & Youth Competitive Edge Fiscal Health Sustainable Development Race & Ethnicity
    10. 10. Boston’s indicators are registering the impact of global forces: Population Growth Technological transformation Economic Globalization Climate Change w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
    11. 11. 3. Behind data snapshots lie important trends, comparisons and disparities Don’t trade complexity for simplicity without understanding: “Unpack” indicators
    12. 12. “Massachusetts ranks #1 on NAEP in 8th grade math”: White and Asian students at the top, black & Latino students with Alabama and Louisiana
    13. 13. 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency Boston Public Schools 2010 – 37% (with a range from 10% to 70% by school)
    14. 14. Headline: “The BPS achievement gap in passing the 10th Grade MCAS English Language Arts (ELA) has almost closed”
    15. 15. … but when Proficiency—or grade-level mastery—is used, a wide gap persists
    16. 16. w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g “Boston has a highly educated workforce”: 1990 – 2008: Black & Latino adults with a BA in Boston increased slightly; whites & Asians dramatically
    17. 17. Graduation rates at local colleges at which a high percentage of BPS grads enroll vary from 6% to 80%
    18. 18. Behind the Headline : Boston’s Adults without a High School Diploma by Census Tract, 2005-2009
    19. 19. Behind the Headline : Boston’s Adults without a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher by Census Tract, 2005-2009
    20. 20. Racial/Ethnic Concentration in Greater Boston: % White (blue); % People of Color (yellow) By Census Tract, 2005-2009
    21. 21. Headline: “Massachusetts, Greater Boston and Boston are outperforming the nation in unemployment rates”
    22. 22. Behind the Headline: Boston workforce participation rates by educational attainment
    23. 23. 4. A commitment to constructive change, combined with analytical skills, data visualization tools and good data, is POWERFUL. But it’s not rocket science. You can do it!
    24. 24. Boston Census Tracts by Percent African American Countries with Gini Ratio above .51 This Map Shows that a Gini Ratio of .51 and above is quite high even among Developing Countries for which there is reliable data.
    25. 25. Concentration of Housing Foreclosures
    26. 26. Healthy People in a Healthy Economy State Budget FY’01 – ’10: In MA – and the US, health care costs are crowding out investment in the basic determinants of health Mass. State Budget
    27. 27. In Boston, rising rates of obesity and hypertension are concentrated in low-income neighborhoods of color Healthy People in a Healthy Economy
    28. 28. A coalition to make Massachusetts the national leader in health and wellness LAUNCH picture Healthy People in a Healthy Economy
    29. 29. Greater Boston’s Emerging Civic Agenda w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g World-Class Human Capital 21st Century Infrastructure 21st Century Jobs & Economic Strategies An Open Effective, Dynamic Civic Culture
    30. 30. A BENT CURVE… w w w. b o s t o n i n d i c a t o r s. o r g
    31. 31. The Open Indicators Consortium Weave open source data visualization
    32. 32. Thank you.
    33. 33. The Open Indicators Consortium Weave open source data visualization developed by students and faculty at The University of Massachusetts Lowell in partnership with Consortium members: Arizona State University; Atlanta’s Neighborhood Nexus; Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning; Columbus/Central OH Community Research Partners; CT Data Collaborative. Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), Boston Indicators Project, MA Dept of Early Education & Care; RI Dept. of Education, The Providence Plan; Kansas City MI (MARC); Michigan Data Collaborative - Grand Rapids, Detroit; King County WA Public Health Department; South Florida Planning Council; Portland OR State University
    34. 34. Arizona (Arizona State University) Metro Atlanta/Atlanta GA (Neighborhood Nexus Partnership) Metro Boston/Boston MA (Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Boston Indicators Project at the Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts DEartoment of Early Education and Care) Metro Chicago IL (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) Columbus/Central OH (Community Research Partners, MORPC) Connecticut Data Collaborative (with New Haven and Hartford) Kansas City MI (MARC) Michigan Data Collaborative (Grand Valley University, Grand Rapids / Detroit) Rhode Island (Rhode Island Department of Education, the Providence Plan) King County/Seattle WA Public Health Department South Florida Planning Council FLA (including Miami) Portland OR (Portland State University)

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