Why zip codes have connotations.

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This entry was posted in 5x7, finances, inequality, school. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Why zip codes have connotations.

  1. brian says:

    Look at the DC mayoral election and see the cycle in reverse.

    Schools get good which lead to gentrification. The current residents respond by electing someone who will stop the gentrification, but the only way to stop the rise of property values in prime locations is to have sub-standard services.

    So politicians in poor city centers face a choice, keep services poor so affluent people chose to live in the suburbs and commute, which stops gentrification and keeps their political base in place to vote for them.

    Or, raise the standards of services, which attracts yuppies into convenient city centers, which pushes out current residents and replaces the politicians base with voters who might not support the politician.

    This cycle is what motivates the cycle you point out above.

  2. Miko says:

    I don’t understand the bottom-left arrow. Are you suggesting that there’s a correlation between education and education funding?

  3. You seem to be missing a step. You might have skipped the step unconsciously. You might have skipped it on purpose, thinking it obvious or redundant. The step you skipped was the (education funding)/(education) graph. You would have drawn it that as funding increases, education increases. This simply doesn’t pan out in real life. It has been shown time and again that throwing money at poorly performing schools does not improve them.

  4. zomnomnombie says:

    Dead on.

  5. name says:

    I’d say the ‘missing’ chart implies there isn’t a correlation education funding and education

  6. Dan says:

    Moreover, what’s the gap top left? You have poverty decreasing as education progresses. Then next frame you have crime increasing as poverty grows.
    Now, I think that either of these statements is reasonably born out by reality, but I don’t get how you can link to the two. What gives? Where is the event that moves us from poverty decreasing to increasing again? I can’t follow it.
    Oh hang on, there’s the same error in the opposite corner. House prices fall, then start to rise without any cause, other than that they have gone down presumably as far as they can go, such that they bottom out and must surely rise. But this doesn’t hold true – look at Liverpool or, from what I understand of it, Detroit. Jobs go, joblessness then crimes rise, prices go down. Then stay down. No-one moves in simply because it’s cheap (except student landlords in the UK).

  7. tshep says:

    pure genius.

  8. Grinnyguy says:

    Dan,
    These graphs do not show time, they show correlation. Increasing house prices and decreasing house prices could both be shown by the same graph.

    I like this – not poverty – your index card

  9. johanges says:

    The one graph you left out is the one in the middle that shows the correlation between the total number of axis in the drawing and the intensity of of the debate. :-)

  10. sammyb says:

    a.k.a. positive feedback.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Hey, your graph is all wrong. The poorer your community, the MORE education funding you receive. D’uh!

    http://www.minedu.govt.nz/NZEducation/EducationPolicies/Schools/SchoolOperations/Resourcing/OperationalFunding/Deciles/FrequentlyAskedQuestionsAboutDeciles/What_are_deciles_used_for.aspx

    Oh, hang on. Is this a U.S. based blog? Ah yeah, the land of the free! Don’t want all that nasty socialism messing up your civil rights!

  12. Jon-Pierre Gentil says:

    Hey way to go on making something funny into SRS INTERWEBS BSNS.

    Geez people. Bark less, wag more.

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  14. drklassn says:

    The reason “throwing money” at poor schools is not working (as well is we would like—it *does* work) is that it is tied to stupid things like high-stakes standardized testing. If you “threw” money there to attract teachers (i.e. *pay* a competitive salary) that would be a great first start.

    The other issue is that children can’t learn if they are hungry, worried about home life, scared about their walk home, have little or no parental support (because parent[s] have to work 80 hours a week to make minimum wage), etc. etc.

    But if you go into the suburbs you DO find a very strong correlation between money spent and quality of eduction.

  15. Mike says:

    You people are taking this shit way too seriously.

  16. Walt says:

    Somehow, I’ve noticed that well-funded schools produce considerably better educated students.
    Jonathan, your premise may apply to federal funding – which is stingy, at best – but does not apply to over-all funding. The “you can’t just throw money at it” myth, may be true if you simply suddenly give a short-term grant to a school that is a wreck, has over crowded classrooms, lacks textbooks, lacks labs and all the other things that good, well funded schools schools build up over the years. Unless there is a stable supply of funding – and it is not tied to idiotic standardized testing that is really designed to give excuses to remove funding, it won’t work.
    A start would be to hire a enough teachers at decent wages to have small class sizes. It works for kids in the suburbs and will work for kids in the city.

  17. AshleyZ says:

    There are schools in America where you’re not allowed to take your textbook home at night, because the school district can’t afford a book for everyone. Are you suggesting that a situation like that will have educational outcomes as good as the school you went to?

  18. Josh Marantz says:

    The cycle of poverty in graph form? Awesome. A great resource.

  19. Mark Tebeau says:

    There is not, empirically, a direct relation between education funding and property tax rates; nor is there a direct relation between house values and property taxes. It is far more complex for a variety of reasons, including other sources of revenue for schooling (like the presence of a local business base, state subsidies if they exist, and size of schools/district.) What is striking about actually looking at the data, rather than imagining it, is how spending per pupil is often MORE in less affluent and less successful districts.

    Additionally, the relation between ‘property taxes’ and housing value is unclear. Does it mean total property tax collected, property tax rates, or what exactly? Indeed, it does NOT follow, again if you look at the actual data, that communities with higher property values pay higher property taxes. Indeed, what is striking is that there property tax rates are generally only slightly more than poor communities–perhaps 20%. As for overall revenue, that is surely more shaped by size of community, as is the distribution of that revenue.

    I pulled my data from public records, published in tables by the Cleveland Plain Dealer (see there data page: http://www.cleveland.com/datacentral/index.ssf/2009/01/navigate_data_central_with_thi.html).

    All that said, if you graph property values against education outcomes (measured by scores on standardized tests–which is a terrible measure but a measure nonetheless), you discover that property values are almost directly related to school outcomes.

    My point is that school funding itself is NOT the obvious mechanism for that disparity, but that other factors (such as poverty and education level of parents) make a huge difference.

  20. jimmy says:

    Dudes; lighten up!! Anecdotal evidence contradicts fact in almost every field of study; get over it and move on. Ms. Hagy’s stated goal is to, “…make fun of some things and sense of others.” So laugh and go away …and be sure to come back tomorrow ;)

  21. Can we please stop with the old ‘schools are underfunded’ meme? Since 1980 our per pupil spending has gone from $5639 to $10041 per year (in constant 2007-8 dollars, and yes that counts all spending, not just federal). Are our schools twice as good now as they were 30 years ago? The median annual salary for teachers is well beyond the median salary for the country, and that’s before you count the extensive benefits, the fact the don’t work three months of the year, and the fact that there’s almost perfect jobs security. While it’s certainly understanable that teacher unions advocate more pay for their members, that doesn’t mean their claims should be accepted uncritically just because they evoke the old “but it’s for the children!” argument at every oppurtunity.

  22. All that said, if you graph property values against education outcomes (measured by scores on standardized tests–which is a terrible measure but a measure nonetheless), you discover that property values are almost directly related to school outcomes.

    Yes, but correlation is not causation as they say. In this case you’re reversing the cause and effect. In the absence of any meaningful form of school choice, home ownership is the only way most families have to get their children into a better school. So in communities with good schools, property values increase as more people try to move in, increasing demand for the housing there. In communities with bad schools, property values drop as people move out, leaving a glut of houses.

  23. Michael says:

    and to think webcomics were one of the things i wasted my time on instead of doing my homework because I couldnt be bothered thinking.

  24. Jeff Clough says:

    Genius insight. Rock on.

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  26. aadfg says:

    More poverty doesn’t mean more crime.

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