The 2002 update of the Children’s Report Card was created with the
goal of making data, analysis and sources as easily accessible to users as
possible. The online presentation of the Children’s Report Card achieves
this through its interactive functions.
- Index: The index contains a list of the six goals
and 31 indicators. The six goals are shared with
- Custom report: This feature allows users
to search for data by selecting from the list of trends or query by geography
or keyword. Starting a search by geography allows a user to view all the data
that is available for a particular geographic unit such as a county or school
district. If the trend or indicator is selected with county level data, a map
can be created to display the data.
- Search: This function allows users to search all
of the 2002 Children’s Report Card pages by keyword.
The summary report highlights trends in the 2002 Children’s Report Card
(4 p., 149K, PDF 5.0).
- Z scores: These help the user determine how well a county is doing
in relation to others, by illustrating how far and in what direction a score
deviates from the average score for all counties. A county’s score is plotted
on a bar graph that shows the range of values for all counties, with the
average indicated by a horizontal line. The user can select up to five
counties for comparison. Z scores are especially informative when the
distribution is normal.
Organization of the indicator pages:
Each indicator page contains text, web links, data and graphs to provide a
comprehensive picture of each indicator.
The goal statement for each indicator is followed by a brief
description of the goal. There are six goals in the Children’s Report Card.
Rationale: This section provides a brief explanation of why an
indicator was selected to measure progress toward achieving a particular goal.
Table and graph: A data table is provided along with a graphic
depiction of the trend. When an indicator includes multiple trends, users have
the option to view the graphs of each trend separately. Data tables may
include the symbol "N" which represents that no data is available.
Local data: The availability of county, school district or other local
data, if any, is noted under each data table. The source is the same as for
statewide data unless otherwise noted in the technical note for the indicator.
About the indicator: A trend description and important contextual
information are included in this section. This is intended to help the user
better understand the indicator and any progress.
For comparison: Where available, comparisons or benchmarks provide
context for understanding how Minnesota’s performance compares regionally,
nationally or internationally. These include national averages,
best-performing states and widely accepted standards. Some are objectives set
by public or professional bodies or Minnesota statute.
Things to think about: This section provides detailed information
to encourage the reader to think more broadly about the indicator and the
progress being made in achieving the goal.
Technical notes: Details about data sources, calculation methods
and other notes are found in this section.
Sources: All sources are provided. Web links are noted where
Retrieve local data: All indicators, with the exception of
indicator 15 (children assessed as normal in preschool screening) have county
data. Users may select one or multiple local areas from alphabetical lists.
Create map: Maps may be created for all indicators that have county
data. Users can select a year and look at maps with up to five legend
- Population: All population figures for this and earlier report
cards are from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Data for the 2002 Children’s
Report Card is from the 2000 Census. Population figures for the earlier
report cards are based on estimates.
- School years: School years span the fall of one year to the spring
of the next year. In the Children’s Report Card, data for school years
is labeled with the second year, unless otherwise noted. For example, data
from the school year spanning fall 2000 and spring 2001 is labeled 2001.
- Minnesota Student Survey: Data for 15 indicators comes from the
2001 Minnesota Student Survey, administered by the Department of
Children, Families & Learning. This is self-reported data and there are
differences in the way some school districts administer the survey. Fifty to
55 percent of Minnesota ninth- and 12th-graders participate in the survey. In
some instances, the question asked has been changed since the first
Children’s Report Card was produced. This change is pointed out in
the technical note.
- School district data: In some instances, there are multiple
listings for school district data. This is usually because the district has
been involved in a consolidation. In the case of some small school districts,
it is because they are involved in academic pairing. Information about
consolidations and academic pairings is available from the