Category Archives: Child and Family

No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

By National College Transition Network, World Education

No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way is the report from the Single Mothers’ Career Readiness and Success Project, funded by ECMC Foundation. The report documents program models and service strategies, and, to a lesser extent, institutional and public policies, implemented specifically in community college settings to support single mothers and increase their rates of persistence and completion, leading to greater career and economic opportunities and success for themselves and their families.

With this investigation, we hope to contribute to the field’s understanding of the landscape and illuminate the strengths and gaps in the support systems available to single mother students, with a focus on community colleges. Our ultimate goal is to share the insights and best practices we have gleaned with educators, funders and investors, and policymakers so that, together, we can increase the opportunities and supports available to single mother students.


Executive Summary: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

Full Report: No Matter What Obstacle is Thrown My Way

Green line that separates post


ALICE: Looking up financial insecurity region by region in Virginia & 14 other states

United Way logoWorking Hard, But Struggling to Survive

ALICE is a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This is a project of United Ways in Connecticut, Florida, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

ALICE families earn above the federal poverty level, but do not earn enough to afford a bare-bones household budget of housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care. The United Way ALICE Reports use new measures to provide a more accurate picture of financial insecurity at the state, county, and municipal level. This link leads to a page on the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration’s site that houses the regional Virginia statistics.

Logo of the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration, Newark


Family Literacy

Family Factors Critical to Closing the Achievement Gap

A press release announcing the 2007 ETS report: The Family, America’s Smallest School, summarizes important statistical information about developmental reading:

The Family: America’s Smallest School examines the family and home experiences that influence children’s learning. Factors include single parent families, poverty and resources, parents talking and reading to children, quality day care, and parental involvement in school. The report was written by Paul E. Barton and Richard J. Coley of ETS’s Policy Information Center. It includes a preface and endorsement by Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League.

“When parents, teachers and schools work together to support learning, students do better in school and stay in school longer,” says Barton. “Our analysis shows that factors like single-parent families, parents reading to children, hours spent watching television and school absences, when combined, account for about two-thirds of the large differences among states in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scores.”

Findings in the report show that:

  • Thirty-two percent of U.S. children live in single-parent homes, up from 23% in 1980.
  • Thirty-three percent of children live in families in which no parent has a full-time, year-round job.
  • By age 4, children of professional families hear 35 million more words than children of parents on welfare.
  • Half of the nation’s two-year-olds are in some kind of regular day care. Seventy-five percent are in center-based day care rated of medium- or low-quality.
  • A comparison of eighth-graders in 45 countries found that U.S. students spend less time reading books for enjoyment — and more time watching television and videos —than students in many other countries.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Forty-four percent of births to women under 30 are out-of-wedlock.
  • Nationally, 11 percent of all households are “food insecure.” The rate for female-headed households is triple the rate for married families.
  • Sixty-two percent of high SES kindergartners are read to every day by their parents, compared to 36 percent of kindergartners from low SES groups.
  • One in five students misses three days or more of school a month. The United States ranked 25th of 45 countries in students’ school attendance.

“The important educational role of parents is often overlooked in our local, state, and national discussions about raising student achievement and closing achievement gaps,” notes Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and former mayor of New Orleans.

Download the full report, “The Family: America’s Smallest School,” for free at Purchase copies for $15 (prepaid) by writing to the Policy Information Center, ETS, MS 19-R, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001; by calling (609) 734-5949; or by sending an e-mail to

About ETS

ETS celebrates a 60-year history of advancing quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. Additional information is available at