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Old 07-22-2014, 12:41 PM
1,649 posts, read 2,359,252 times
Reputation: 2897


"Iowa's No. 1 when it comes to children's health.

That's just one piece of good news for the state from the nationwide 2014 Kids Count report, which the Annie E. Casey Foundation released today. The data comes from federal statistical agencies, the foundation said.

Iowa rose to third place in the nation from seventh in 2013 in overall rankings, which are based on 16 measurements in four categories — economic well being, education, health and family and community — and boosted its standing in each one.“

We have improved in some areas, which is important, and we continue to do so, which I think is a very good sign for the state,” said Mike Crawford, director of Iowa Kids Count. “I think it's a continuation of progress that's been made over the last few years.”

Iowa jumped from seventh in health to first. Crawford largely attributed that leap to Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (HAWK-I), the state's medical and dental insurance program for low-income children, though the state saw gains in all four metrics:

-- Fewer low-birthweight babies
-- Fewer children without health insurance
-- Fewer child and teen deaths
-- A decrease in the rate of teens abusing alcohol or drugs."

Iowa Leads Nation In Child Health | KCRG-TV9 | Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:30 AM
3,492 posts, read 5,224,841 times
Reputation: 5386
I clicked the link and reviewed the piece. It was a shoddy piece of journalism. Sources were improperly cited with no links back to original material. Information regarding the other metrics was largely left out, in addition to not sourcing directly back to the relevant material.

Since they failed to provide proper sourcing, I found the website for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and filtered through their website (which left a great deal to be desired in terms of organization). For clarity sake: A good format, when clicking upon their "kids count" section would have began with a heading that announced what all the relevant metrics were, and those metrics would have been clearly labeled under their respective headings. Then a "view states by metric" list would have been available along with information that says how the numbers are measured. For instance, what is a child and teen death? Does it exclude infants, or are all people under 18 counted? What about people that are 18 or 19? They are adults, but they are also teens. If someone has gone missing for a substantial period of time and police have called off the search, do they classify it as a death? If a child from Iowa dies while on vacation in Florida, which state has the statistic recorded?

Watching for low birth weight is great, but if it is going to be used, let's not be splitting hairs. Let it include fetal alcohol syndrome and all other forms of problems, while clearly stating the sub rank for each category.

Here's a great one: "Children receiving WIC". Clearly, being out food stamps is not the best outcome. However, being kicked off of them is even worse. How do you properly incorporate that into a ranking?

Here's a great example of failing at statistics: Iowa is 24th in the number of child abuse cases reported. Iowa is #1 (least) in number of confirmed cases. This represents either twisted statistics or a failure to properly investigate. The number they used in the rankings is the number of confirmed cases. In other words, the ranking is biased to provide better ratings to the states which do an inadequate job of investigating child abuse claims.

There is NO category for teen obesity rate. How on earth does that not get included in a piece of child health.

All in all, it was a shoddy piece put together by a journalist in need of higher standards. The original source (not linked in the article) Indicator Selection | KIDS COUNT Data Center is fairly large index of statistic figures, but the precise ones used in generating the report were not the most relevant and occasionally deliberately left out very important information. As such the ratings can not be taken seriously and should be disregarded upon any investigation. Of course, investigative journalism is dead.
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