Homework Week 5 (Due Oct 9)

This week, you’re going to revise the maps you made last week, chart some education data and, with your partner, pitch us your first story.

Revise your map and upload it with a new name (something like map_revised.html is good). Create a simple key, make sure you’re making conscious choices about what information appears in the info window. Credit your sources, and address the feedback you’ve gotten from us.

Visualize school graduation outcome data. We’re looking for three sketches (on paper) and one interactive chart.

Download New York City’s graduation outcome data as a csv. Note: “cohort year” is the year that a particular group of students started High School. You’re probably used to thinking of the “2001 Cohort” as the “Class of 2005.”

Sketch out three views of the data that illustrate graduation rate trends for Hispanics, Whites, Blacks, and Asians across the 5 boroughs between 2001 and 2007. (Hint: This all won’t fit into a single graph.)

Pick one of those views and use Google Spreadsheets to actually create a chart. (We recommend that you complete the assignment in Google Spreadsheets, but if you want to try your hand at Highcharts, R, D3 or Protovis, by all means feel free to branch out.

Graduation Outcomes – 4 Year Outcome – Cohorts of 2001 through 2006 (Classes of 2005 through 2010)
• The New York State calculation method was first adopted for the Cohort of 2001 (Class of 2005). The cohort consists of all students who first entered 9th grade in a given school year (e.g., the Cohort of 2006 entered 9th grade in the 2006-2007 school year). Graduates are defined as those students earning either a Local or Regents diploma and exclude those earning either a special education (IEP) diploma or GED. For the most recent cohort, graduation rates as of both June and August (including summer graduates) are reported.
• Records with cohorts of 20 students or less are suppressed. August outcomes are only reported for the most recent cohort.
• August outcomes include all June and August graduates.
• In school-level reporting, students who were in a school for less than 5 months are not included in the school’s cohort, but are included in citywide totals.
• School level results are not presented for District 79 schools, but their outcomes are included in citywide totals.

Read Cairo: The Functional Art, Reading part 3: pages 73-86, on presentation. On e-reserve in the Library.

Pitch your first story. Working with a partner, post your first pitches to the class blog. Pitches should be published so that your classmates can read them, but you can use the “Member Access” module to ensure that posts are not visible to the larger public. Use the “Story 1” and “Pitch” categories.

A complete pitch should tell us who cares, why we care now, and what pre-reporting you’ve done. You must include…

  • a question or thesis
  • a news hook, or explanation of why this story matters now
  • a description of and link to the data (which means you have to find your data!)
  • the name of one source you have already spoken with or at least three potential expert sources and your plans for reaching them
  • a sketch or wireframe of your planned visualization (you can bring this in on paper)

Send the URL of your revised map, the URL of your chart and the URL of your pitch to Amanda, Russell and Nick with the subject “Homework Week 5” by noon on October 9.

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