Friday, December 27, 2013

Mapping the Dropout Crisis

A few years ago Compass Point created a set of maps showing high school drop out concentrations in Illinois. You can see the PDF here.

In this article from The Atlantic, you can see a map showing where the drop out crisis is most severe in the USA.

Maps help us understand that social problems are concentrated in many different places, thus, our strategies need to innovate ways to distribute resources consistently to all of the high priority places, not just a few high profile locations.

View the maps on this blog to stimulate your thinking on ways to mobilize and distribute resources to more places where help is needed so more kids go successfully from birth to work without a detour in juvenile justice or out of school.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Maps showing Racial Distribution in Chicago

This is a map showing racial demographics in Chicago, based on the 2013 census data. It's one of a collection of maps that can be found in this Wired.com article.

This map is called a Racial Dot Map, and "provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country." This link provides an overview of the process and purpose of creating the map. This link points to the actual interactive map, showing racial distribution for the entire country. Zoom into specific sections and create your own maps!

Use this map, along with maps showing locations of poorly performing schools, incidents of violence, health disparities, etc. and you can form an understanding of what neighborhoods and/or racial groups live in more troubled environments than others.

Use maps that show locations of non-school tutoring and/or mentoring programs and you can begin to build an understanding of which neighborhoods have programs and which don't. Further review and understanding would be needed to determine which of the existing programs are of higher quality or serve more youth than other programs, but using this information leaders should be able to form strategies that help existing programs get the resources to operate and constantly improve, while helping new programs form in areas of need.

This is the type of work Tutor/Mentor Connection has been trying to do since 1993, but with far too few dollars and talent. It's work that now is being attempted by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, but with the same lack of resources.