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Baton Rouge Area Foundation launches next installment of Opportunity Data Project

Education-focused research shows economically disadvantaged students in EBR Parish 2.5x more unprepared for kindergarten than students across the nation

Baton Rouge, LA – The Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF) today announced they have released the next installment of the Opportunity Data Project focused on early childhood education. Analysis revealed that, despite near-universal access to Pre-K 4 programs, students in EBR are showing up unprepared for kindergarten. One third of economically disadvantaged EBR students scored a zero on the kindergarten readiness exam, while the national average is 13%. Of these students, over 60% were unable to read at a basic level by third grade.

The newly released education briefing includes an analysis conducted using data from the East Baton Rouge Parish School System for over 120,000 students of all grades between 2007 to 2023. The analysis considered several factors such as test scores, attendance records, disciplinary files, and administrative information. BRAF’s data partner, Common Good Labs, conducted geospatial analyses by linking the data with additional administrative information and using advanced modeling techniques to better understand student outcomes at multiple points in their educational journey.

Chris Meyer, president and CEO of BRAF, expressed his enthusiasm for the action these data can spur, stating, “The findings in our latest analyses are eye opening. With these new findings, our community can choose to reject the status quo of poor educational outcomes, and instead work together to adopt data-driven methods for preparing our youngest learners for school success.”

The Opportunity Data Project is an innovative initiative leveraging advanced data science to target social and philanthropic efforts for improved quality of life in Baton Rouge. Through the Opportunity Data Project, BRAF and Common Good Labs are utilizing advanced data analysis techniques to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by the Baton Rouge community. By examining various data points (including economic indicators, education levels, healthcare access, and social disparities) the project identifies key areas where targeted interventions can make a significant difference.

Additional education-focused briefings are expected to be released throughout the year highlighting the patterns this data set reveals about literacy, K-12 education, and more. Most recently, the Foundation released a briefing detailing the “geography of opportunity” in Baton Rouge and a second briefing exploring community safety. Visit to read all available briefings and learn more about the project.


About the Baton Rouge Area Foundation: Among the largest community foundations in the country, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life in greater Baton Rouge and across south Louisiana.  

The Foundation pursues its mission by serving donors to build the assets that drive initiatives and solutions, supporting local nonprofits to ensure overall impact and sustainability, engaging community leaders to develop appropriate responses to emerging opportunities and challenges, and by partnering with others to leverage collective resources and create the capacity to be a stimulus of positive regional change. 

For more information, visit 

About Common Good Labs: Common Good Labs is a research organization that designs actionable solutions to improve communities. They use data science tools — including geospatial modeling, machine learning algorithms, and network analyses — to empower leaders at foundations, non-profit organizations, and in government.

Their work focuses on reducing poverty without displacement, enhancing public safety and health outcomes, improving education, supporting small businesses, and other related topics. For more information, visit