The 12 States of America from The Atlantic: Income inequality marks majority of America

March 10, 2011

Graphics story in The Atlantic this month — “The 12 States of America.”

Looking at my print copy I was struck that most of the “states” listed — really communities of people — have lost economic ground in the past decade.  Average per capita incomes dropped for most groups.

Since 1980, income inequality has fractured the nation. Click each icon to see each of the dozen states, which counties belong to them and how median income has changed over the last 30 years.

The old income inequality monster rearing its ugly, ugly head again.  America is losing ground.  No wonder the Republicans are discouraged — but why don’t they understand that its their policies that create the trouble?

This is a good version, but you’d do well to go check out a larger version at The Atlantic site, and read the short article by Dante Chinni and James Gimpel.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The 12 States of America – The Atlantic, posted with vodpod

Click on any descriptor, and it will show which counties in America match that description.

Hmmm. In the headline, should that be “scars” instead of “marks?”


Is Bill Gates the Superman education needs?

February 3, 2011

At Almost Diamonds, a clear explication of why Bill Gates alone cannot save education:

If you want to improve education in the U.S., fund it properly. Fund the education and salaries of teachers. Fund the building and maintenance of schools. Fund supplies. Fund libraries. Fund good textbooks and other materials. Fund early education. Fund student nutrition and health. Fund community social services that keep parents rooted in one place longer.

In short, fund those things it takes to produce small classes of students undistracted by other problems, taught by experienced teachers who aren’t constantly overworked. Is it a sexy solution? Does it put somebody’s name in lights? No, but it works.

Putting your name on some education initiative somewhere is grand. Nifty, even. The problem is that it really isn’t all that innovative when it comes right down to it. There is plenty of history of experimentation in education. Much of it even produced promising results.

Then it fell by the wayside because the implementation cost money. All the promise in the world can’t produce results if no one is willing to pay the cost. No, if someone really wants to do something new and different in the field of education, they need to implement those solutions that have already been proven.

More good stuff there at Almost Diamonds, keying off an article in The Atlantic by Chrystia Freeland on the “new elite.”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Rational Rant.


Where does your state, or nation rank? Advanced level of math proficiency

December 27, 2010

I had to turn the graphic on its side to fit it in here big enough that you can read it. Where does your state, or nation, rank in percentage of students achieving an advanced level of math proficiency? For U.S. citizens, this is not a pretty chart.

Source: The Atlantic, “Your Child Left Behind” and acccompanying charts, “Miseducation Nation,” November 2010.

Math proficiency, country and state comparisons, The Atlantic, 2010

Where does your state, or nation, rank?

Hey, at least we’re ahead of Tunisia and Kyrgyzstan.  Can your students find those nations on a map?  Do they know what continents to look in?

Tip of the old scrub brush to McLeod’s Cartoons.


Texas ranks ahead of Indiana in higher level math proficiency!

December 26, 2010

That’s not really great news — Texas loses to Lithuania.

But without changing the captions on this great cartoon from McLeod Cartoons, it’s about the best we can say.

McLeod Cartoons on U.S. math achievement

Bragging with little to brag about -- your child left behind

McLeod’s inspiration came from The Atlantic’s report, “Your Child left Behind.”


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