Education crisis explained in motion graphics

Posted to Infographics

Buck, in collaboration with TakePart and An Inconvenient Truth director, Davis Guggenheim, describe the education crisis in America in motion graphics for upcoming documentary, Waiting for "Superman". Watch the video below. It's a more or less a run of education vitals, but it flows well and has a nice look and feel.

Plus, it's an important subject we should know about. Maybe a new movement will get going once education gets the "inconvenient" treatment.

[Thanks, Tim]

17 Comments

  • Sigh. This is not data, this is propaganda. It confuses graduation rates from “education” institutions with actual education. Where’s the data about homeschooling and unschooling? Where’s the data about self-education by Internet?

    This pseudo-information doesn’t belong here.

    – James Marcus Bach, author
    Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar (a book about self-education)

    • I’m afraid you’re right. It belongs here mostly in the sense of flowing visuals. But in terms of visualizing data, not as much.

      I agree that the subject is important, though. My community needed to pass a new tax to cover for the shortfall from the state, which diverted more funds from K-12 education to the strong correctional peace officer’s union. Less education, more incarceration is the apparent plan for our future.

  • The fact that so many young people are dropping out of school simply means that school is not interesting or relevant for these students — we need to close the public school system and replace it with “x-grade in a box” education to be supervised by parents in the comfort of their homes — the money that would be made avaiable from closing the public school system could be used to create meaningful work for young people — the failure of public education is indicative of so many problems — we the people need to get rid of that which does not work for society…

    • You’ve got to be kidding me….close public schools??? You might have had a parent who could teach you at home, but so many don’t. How many parents are intellectually equipped to teach their kids? Maybe they can teach them how to cut wood or how to cook, but how many parents really know what and how to teach besides manners, if that much?! I think it is an insult to all educators out there to think that every parent can be an educator. These educators spend years preparing for this profession. Now, where is the problem? THE SYSTEM is the problem!! We do import all this ‘brain’ from abroad…they are the ones who solve all those problems shown in the video, not our own children. There are solutions out there, but people don’t want to adopt them becuase any drastic change is scary. Look outside the borders of this country and, for once in your lifetime, admit others have better ideas than us.

  • From Wikipedia, “In 2007, approximately 1.5 million children were homeschooled, up 74% from 1999 when the U.S. Department of Education first started keeping statistics. This was 2.9% of all children.[31]”

    So yeah, there is *some* of that…but the stats are useful for comparing the public institution of K-12 education. I think its safe to say that MOST people think this is not propaganda, given that their kids are most likely in a non-home school situation.

    I think it would be interesting to see how home schoolers compare to non-home schoolers…here’s the data…
    http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0053/twps0053.html#data

  • At one dropout every 26 seconds, I feel like you could fit four into a 2:06 video.

    • Heh, you could almost fit six. (0:01, 0:27, 0:53, 1:19, 1:45, 2:11) Double her stat.

      To be fair, I imagine the video was originally shorter when she first scripted the narration.

      • Or alternatively… she scripted it with strict regard to time.

        That is – she meant that three would drop out by the time “you finish watching the video”. The phrase comes after almost a minute into the video – which would time left roughly equal for three dropouts.

  • +1 to James, the first commenter.

  • The video makes two assumptions: graduation = education. And a teacher led classroom = education. Then it spins education into the tired & fake international competition that it isn’t. This was obviously made by products of public schools – conditioned to compulsory education by a single teacher in a room and believe in their ranking & grading systems as proof of their “education”. If only we could be #18 or #12 or whatever next year… wouldn’t they just show us how educated we are! Mass government education is a 20th century invention intended to keep the sheeple in line.

  • Not a particularly convincing argument. For one thing, it seems to conflate the correlation between dropping out of high school and negative behaviors with causation.

    Furthermore, the limited amount of data shown was aggregated for the entire United States. I can guarantee that there are significant differences in education between Minnesota and Mississippi, South Dakota and South Carolina, Washington State and Washington D.C., and thus it may be misleading to compare the entire United States with other more homogeneous countries (note that Canada, our neighbor to the north was right in front of us in graduation rate as well).

    I also thought that the seeming message at the end of the video that we should be sending even more students to college was a bit disturbing. If 12 years of education isn’t enough for the median student, then perhaps we need to improve the efficiency of our primary and secondary education rather than institute a 16 year education as the norm, something that will only drive tuition fees up even faster relative to inflation and probably dilute the meaning of a four year degree. Perhaps we should be looking more into apprenticeships like many of the countries that the video listed as ranked higher than us in graduation rate already do.

  • Not a particularly convincing argument. For one thing, it seems to conflate the correlation between dropping out of high school and negative behaviors with causation.

    Furthermore, the limited amount of data shown was aggregated for the entire United States. I can guarantee that there are significant differences in education between Minnesota and Mississippi, South Dakota and South Carolina, Washington State and Washington D.C., and thus it may be misleading to compare the entire United States with other more homogeneous countries (note that Canada, our neighbor to the north was right in front of us in graduation rate as well).

    I also thought that the seeming message at the end of the video that we should be sending even more students to college was a bit disturbing. If 12 years of education isn’t enough for the median student, then perhaps we need to improve the efficiency of our primary and secondary education rather than institute a 16 year education as the norm, something that will only drive tuition fees up even faster relative to inflation and probably dilute the meaning of a four year degree. Perhaps we should be looking more into apprenticeships like many of the countries that the video listed as ranked higher than us in graduation rate already do.

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