We are developing a mutually agreed upon shared performance measurement system to ensure that the hard work we are doing together is making a difference in the lives of our children and youth.
By advancing these metrics, we are committing to supporting data collection and to making this information transparent both among the Evanston Cradle to Career network and to the entire community.
Most importantly, we are committed to making decisions guided by whether efforts are making a difference. We need to be able to answer, accurately and honestly, “All of our community’s children are doing well.” If all our children are not doing well, then we need to intensify our attention, resources and work to help them grow into resilient, educated, healthy, self-sufficient, and socially responsible adults.
Rather than look one time at a snapshot of Evanston as it is today, we commit to looking at a sequence of such snapshots over time. Experiences in other communities and academic research show that there is a broad array of “social indicators,” or circumstances, that bear on a child’s likelihood of progressing in a healthy and productive way through life. Using a series of snapshots, we will be looking at education, health, community, and career and employability to identify and address barriers and obstacles to our children’s success. This ongoing scrutiny of how well our community is succeeding with all our children is made possible by a data-driven collective impact approach. All of these indicators will be disaggregated by socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity and gender wherever possible.
Our community groups, both school districts, post-secondary educational institutions, the business community, and City of Evanston will work together to develop the metrics to track our progress. We will begin, in phase one, with currently collected data that measure how children and young people are doing — how the community is doing. Then, as we move forward, we will determine if there are other questions we need to address but do not have the information to answer. By advancing these metrics, we are committed to making decisions guided by whether efforts are moving the needle. Knowing the numbers is important to our accountability to all stakeholders, especially to the families who reach out to the community of organizations for support and guidance, and also to the donors who support the work of our organizations.