Archive for the 'Culture, Values and Attitudes' Category

U.S. Department of Education Releases College Scorecard Data

The U.S. Department of Education released the data it used for the College Scorecard, along with data on completion rates, financial aid, debt and earnings.

Via Flowing Data: “And it doesn’t look and work like an outdated government site. With all of my frustrations with government sites, the education release feels pretty great. It’s as if the department actually wants us to look at the data. Imagine that.”

On Mass Incarceration

Oliver Roeder of FiveThirtyEight examines the phrase “mass incarceration” and how it relates to the prison population.

October’s cover of The Atlantic carries a headline that, even a decade ago, you probably never would’ve seen: “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” The 20,000-word article attached to it, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, covers the remarkable growth in the United States’ prison population and its outsize impact on black individuals, families and communities. That Coates’s piece employs the phrase “mass incarceration” 17 times is telling. The term has become ubiquitous in conversations about prison in the United States. But 10 years ago, barely anybody put the two words next to each other to talk about what the phrase has come to represent for many: everything that’s wrong with the American justice system.

Work-Life Preferences of Highly Talented Men and Women

Anne Sutherland of the Family Studies blog writes about why women are so scarce in certainly STEM fields. In the article, she examines a 2009 study (PDF) by Vanderbilt scholars Kimberley Ferriman, David Lubinski, and Camilla P. Benbow which looked at the work preferences, lifestyle values, personal views, and life satisfaction of more than 500 young people who, in 1992, were first- and second-year graduate students in the country’s top 15 math and science departments.

10 Years After Katrina

Here is a round-up of some of the reporting on New Orleans 10 years after Katrina:

From FiveThirtyEight:

The Pew Research Center: Remembering Katrina: Wide Racial Divide over Government’s Response

Wonkblog: What happened when Brad Pitt and his architects came to rebuild New Orleans

Scott Walker’s Views on Higher Education

Eric Kelderman of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes about the context and history of Scott Walker’s views and policies on higher education in Wisconsin:

In January, when Governor Walker released his proposed budget for the next two years, he put the finances and mission of Wisconsin’s university system front and center. He recommended granting the system autonomy from several state regulations, but as part of the deal he proposed to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget over two years while freezing tuition. In addition, he pushed to remove protections for tenure and shared governance from state law.

Note: this article is behind a paywall. University of Michigan readers may use this link to access the article.

See also Sarah Brown’s article on Washington States’s plan to cut tuition rates for public colleges.

Reducing Prison Population

Erik Eckholm of the Upshot examines a new interactive “prison population forecaster” released by the Urban Institute.

Although the number of people held in state and federal prisons appears to have leveled off at about 1.6 million — 2.2 million if those in local jails are counted — some scholars and activists are calling for far more ambitious change. They ask: Why not reduce the prison population by a quarter or even by half? (That would still leave it far higher than it was a few decades back, when crime was more rampant than today.)

A new interactive “prison population forecaster,” posted online Tuesday by the Urban Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, aims to help fill that void and yields some sobering conclusions.

Mixed Race Identity Rises in the South

William Frey, writing for the Brookings Institute, examines the increase in persons identifying as “White and Black” in the southern states.

Yet, the South is attracting blacks in large numbers, including multiracial blacks, from all parts of the country. Thus, it is significant that when states are ranked by the growth rates in their “white and black” multiracial populations in the first decade of the 2000s, it is these Southern states that lead all others.

Teens, Technology and Friendships

The Pew Research Center released a new report on the ways teenagers make and maintain friendships in the digital age.

For American teens, making friends isn’t just confined to the school yard, playing field or neighborhood – many are making new friends online. Fully 57% of teens ages 13 to 17 have made a new friend online, with 29% of teens indicating that they have made more than five new friends in online venues. Most of these friendships stay in the digital space; only 20% of all teens have met an online friend in person.

See also: 6 takeaways about teen friendships in the digital age and 5 facts about America’s students.

More Americans of All Races Say Racism Is A Big Problem

The Pew Research Center released a report examining the results of a new poll, Across Racial Lines, More Say Nation Needs to Make Changes to Achieve Racial Equality.

Over the past year, there has been a substantial rise in the share of Americans — across racial and ethnic groups — who say the country needs to continue making changes to give blacks equal rights with whites, and a growing number of Americans view racism as a big problem in society.

Download the full report (PDF)

See also the Wonkblog write-up.

Using Probability in Criminal Sentencing

FlowingData extracts a statistics lesson on probability from a piece in FiveThirtyEight about risk assessment and criminal sentencing.