OYF Common Measures

Opportunity Youth have historically been difficult to count, as they are defined as a group which does not appear in either of two data sets – those in an educational program and those not working. With the OYF Common Measures, however, we can annually measure, for each unique geographic area of an OYF collaborative, the overall opportunity youth disconnection rate; and the disconnection rates for high school, post-secondary and workforce annually for the entire community.

The four measures are:

  • Overall community disconnection rate: The rate of young people disconnected from work and school (i.e., opportunity youth).
  • High school disconnection rate: The rate of young people without a high school diploma/GED and not working who are disconnected from high school.
  • Postsecondary disconnection rate: The rate of young people with a high school diploma/GED but without a postsecondary credential, who are disconnected from postsecondary education and not working.
  • Workforce disconnection rate: The rate of young people with a postsecondary credential, but not enrolled in postsecondary, who are disconnected from the workforce.

The data source for the OYF Common Measures is the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is 1) the source of the most accurate estimates available; 2) consistent across communities and time; and 3) reliably available annually. [More information on the process used to pick the ACS as the data source, and other details of the process can be found in this publication. If you are interested in the specific technical methods used to derive the Common Measures from ACS data, you can find that in this publication.]

Disaggregation

One important attribute of the Common Measures data is that it is disaggregatable by various demographic variables, such as race, gender, income, etc. We are also able to disaggregate it by other OY-pertinent variable such as having a child in the home, nativity, and more.

The Forum for Community Solutions provides the Common Measures detail to each OYF member as the underlying data becomes available, in partnership with our assessment provider Equal Measure.  Each community receives a detailed data report.

Example: Common Measure #1, disaggregation for 6 OYF sites by gender and race

example data from 6 OYF communities

OY Outcomes Target Setting

To realize the full potential of the OYF Common Measures, each urban area-focused OYF community is encouraged to set targets to foster transparency and accountability that drives improvement of OY outcomes at the community and network levels. Given the uniqueness of each OYF community, translating each community’s goals into targets makes it easier to manage how we track progress and to communicate success and lessons learned with the field. Further, having targets helps collaboratives and their partners identify where to focus their efforts and to measure their progress in improving opportunity youth outcomes.

Additionally, targets help to:

  • Provide a clear sense of what each community is aiming for.
  • Drive improvement by prioritizing the areas that determine success and great impact for the Opportunity Youth.
  • Help understand where you are now, what you are trying to achieve and areas that need improvement to achieve the target(s).
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Examine the levers of changes to proactively improve engagement with OY.
  • Encourage the partners in a collaborative to align their activities and to work more intentionally towards known targets.

Communities may also choose to set additional targets against other, more local data sets. Read more about target setting approaches and practices, which are a strategy of our Data for Impact Initiative.

Finally, we continue to work with our rural and tribal OYF collaborative members, to establish an alternative to the ACS-derived Common Measures. Due to the size of the geographic unit of analysis used by the ACS, it is not an appropriate source of information – for the purpose of setting improvement targets for OY outcomes – for smaller population communities to use. Read more about our work with tribes on data sovereignty, and on our continued work with our rural and tribal communities on data issues here.

2019 Common Measures for OYF Collaboratives

image of page 1 of OYF infographic

This two page infographic describes the state of the Opportunity Youth Forum Common Measures for 2019 in summary, across the entire network.

Additionally, we’re pleased to share the 2019 data for each of our urban-focused OYF collaboratives below. As noted above, we’re currently working with our tribal and rural members to establish alternative approaches to the Common Measures.

The definitions of the four measures are:

  • Overall community disconnection rate: The rate of young people disconnected from work and school (i.e., opportunity youth).
  • High school disconnection rate: The rate of young people without a high school diploma/GED and not working who are disconnected from high school.
  • Postsecondary disconnection rate: The rate of young people with a high school diploma/GED but without a postsecondary credential, who are disconnected from postsecondary education and not working.
  • Workforce disconnection rate: The rate of young people with a postsecondary credential, but not enrolled in postsecondary, who are disconnected from the workforce.

2019 OYF Common Measures

Total # of 16-24 year olds in the community Number of Opportunity Youth in the community Community Disconnection Rate High School Disconnection Rate Postsecondary Disconnection Rate Workforce Disconnection Rate
Austin 276,837 24,203 8.7 6.4 18.7 5.3
Atlanta 72,595 8,767 12.1 24.1 19.2 ***
Baltimore 68,242 9,156 13.4 15.8 23.5 9.0
Boston 113,886 6,167 5.4 12.6 6.7 3.6
Chicago 301,334 36,922 12.3 14.3 23.5 7.4
Denver 76,527 8,101 10.6 12.3 23.3 12.1
Detroit 74,911 16,599 22.2 13.7 54.0 5.3
Flint 21,932 5,149 23.5 18.4 50.1 ***
Hartford 66,038 6,517 9.9 12.2 21.3 1.8
Hawaii 148,082 15,162 10.2 11.7 24.4 10.1
Houston 726,879 93,451 12.9 11.2 29.8 11.8
Los Angeles 451,385 46,001 10.2 10.9 15.5 17.8
Minneapolis / St. Paul 338,185 24,454 7.2 9.9 14.4 8.2
New Orleans 41,443 4,288 10.3 13.5 14.4 ***
Newark 90,122 12,504 13.9 8.9 27.2 15.1
NYC – Bronx Opportunity Network 176,638 31,050 17.6 20.4 25.7 27.3
NYC – Transfer 2 Career 873,395 112,514 12.9 13.3 20.8 14.1
NYC – YES! Bedstuy 17,778 3,056 17.2 13.7 37.6 13.0
NYC – Youth WINS 52,468 4,791 9.1 12.0 11.7 14.1
Oakland / Alameda County 175,361 11,701 6.7 7.4 9.6 11.9
Philadelphia 186,661 22,210 11.9 7.4 23.4 10.6
Phoenix 583,617 67,494 11.6 15.3 25.2 9.5
San Antonio 259,740 32,098 12.4 11.7 28.6 15.5
San Diego 293,995 21,468 7.3 5.6 13.1 11.0
San Francisco 73,607 3,500 4.8 10.9 5.9 3.0
Santa Clara County 205,429 13,526 6.6 10.6 7.8 10.7
Seattle / South King County 92,350 9,571 10.4 15.6 22.7 7.4
Southern Maine 138,219 12,511 9.1 12.0 19.7 1.5
Tucson 142,459 16,783 11.8 11.3 22.6 21.2

Source: ACS 2019 1Y PUMS                                           

*** denotes that the estimate is not reliable enough to report this data.                                                            

NOTE: Denominators of the number of youth included in these rates differ for each disconnection rate.