Racial Profile of the U.S.

GEOGRAPHY This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. (Fast Company) Use our resources to start learning about spatial thinking and data visualization. Discussion Ideas The dazzling map of the United States was produced by a demographer. What is demography? Demography is a … Continue reading Racial Profile of the U.S.

Half the People in Illinois Would Rather Live Somewhere Else

UNITED STATES Half of Illinois residents would move to another state if they could—the highest percentage for any state, according to a poll released by Gallup this week. (Chicago Tribune) Would you move? Where? Discussion Ideas “It is sort of noisy data,” says a political scientist quoted in the Chicago Trib article about the recent poll. What does he mean by “noisy”? Statistical noise is … Continue reading Half the People in Illinois Would Rather Live Somewhere Else

More Poor Live in Suburbs than Cities

UNITED STATES More Poor Live in Suburbs than Cities Bucking longstanding patterns in the United States, more poor people now live in the nation’s suburbs than in urban areas, according to a new analysis. Discussion Ideas: The Los Angeles Times article describes a study that shows more people living in poverty in the nation’s suburbs than its urban areas. Read the short section on the … Continue reading More Poor Live in Suburbs than Cities

Obama Calls for World-class Education System


Yesterday, President Obama announced a plan to revamp the
nation’s education system in a speech before the United States Hispanic Chamber
of Commerce–a group afflicted by historically low educational achievement
levels among minority youth.

While many are focusing on the president’s calls to expand investment
in charter schools and performance pay for teachers, plans that have met with
opposition from some teachers’ unions and public schools advocates, I’m
choosing to highlight–you guessed it–geographic elements of the proposal.

Obama’s language was replete with references to the global
economy and nationalistic appeals to prepare students for competitive success. He
stipulated the specific goal of leading the world in graduation rates by 2020,
citing this attainment as critical in a 21st century environment where
the growth in communications tools like the internet has brought opportunity to
many and helped level the playing field.

“Let there be no doubt,” Mr. Obama said. “The future belongs
to the nation that best educates its citizens — and my fellow Americans, we
have everything we need to be that nation (as quoted in the NY Times).”

Continue reading “Obama Calls for World-class Education System”