USA: Teach About Inequality With These 28 New York Times Graphs

USA/ 14 May, 2021/ Source/ https://www.nytimes.com/

Graphs about income, education, health care and the pandemic can help students think critically about stubborn and growing inequalities in American society.

 <p><em>Adapted from the 2020 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/opinion/coronavirus-us-economy-inequality.html">America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.</a>”</em></p>
Adapted from the 2020 article “America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.”

Inequalities, by definition, involve a comparison between two or more things. In math, we can easily express inequalities with simple mathematical sentences, such as x<y. But how can we illustrate complicated inequalities deeply entrenched in our society that are often hidden from plain sight behind segregated neighborhoods, schools of varying quality and different health care systems? Graphs are one powerful tool.

In this teaching resource, we have gathered 28 New York Times graphs that relate to social inequalities in income, education and health care, many of which are exacerbated by issues of race and gender. We have also gathered examples that show how the coronavirus pandemic both laid bare and widened these disparities. We hope teachers across the curriculum will be able to use this collection to help students think critically about American society.

To support teachers, we have created a lesson plan to guide individual students or whole classes — as well as a glossary of terms (PDF) — as they explore this collection. Throughout the lesson, students practice the analysis skills we use in our weekly “What’s Going On in This Graph?” feature using the following four questions:

  • What do you notice?

  • What do you wonder?

  • What impact does this have on you and your community?

  • What do you think is going on in this graph? Write a headline that captures the graph’s main idea.

In the lesson, students also have the opportunity to interact with these graphs, for example by inputting their own school district, and to read other students’ observations and add their own comments.

When you’re ready to get started, you can find four categories of graphs below. For each graph we have provided a key question, as well as a list of related definitions.

 Wealth and Income Inequality Graphs

The United States is getting wealthier — the economy has doubled in size in the last four decades. But not everyone has benefited equally from those gains. In this 2020 piece, David Leonhardt and Yaryna Serkez write, “A small portion of the population has pocketed most of the new wealth, and the coronavirus pandemic is laying bare the consequences of the unequal distribution of prosperity.”

What story do the graphs below tell about income growth and economic mobility? What additional questions do these graphs raise?

GRAPH A

Whose net worth increased the most from 1989 to 2016?

See the top of this post.

GRAPH B

How has net worth changed over time for different generations?

<p><em>Adapted from the 2020 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/opinion/coronavirus-us-economy-inequality.html">America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.</a>” </em></p>
Adapted from the 2020 article “America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.”

GRAPH C

What is the relationship between race and net worth?

Adapted from the 2020 article “America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.”

 

GRAPH D

How much do C.E.O.s get paid compared to the typical worker?

Adapted from the 2020 article “America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.”

 

GRAPH E

Has income kept up with the cost of living?

Adapted from the 2019 article “The Middle-Class Crunch: A Look at 4 Family Budgets”

 

Credit…Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report from May 2019. Michael Förster, a senior policy analyst at the O.E.C.D.’s jobs and income division.

GRAPH F

How has gender in the work force changed since 1960?

Adapted from the 2020 article “America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.”

 

GRAPH G

What is the relationship between women working, and changing household income over the past four decades?

Adapted from the 2019 article “The Middle-Class Crunch: A Look at 4 Family Budgets”

 

GRAPHS H1, H2 AND H3

What economic gaps exist between white and Black America?

Adapted from the 2020 article “The Gaps Between White and Black America, in Charts

 

GRAPH I

What is the relationship between race, gender, parents’ income and children’s income?

Adapted from the 2018 article “Extensive Data Shows Punishing Reach of Racism for Black Boys”

 

GRAPH J

How has the relationship between education level and earnings changed over time?

Adapted from the 2015 article “Why American Workers Without Much Education Are Being Hammered”

 

The United States, with its vast public education system and prestigious universities, is supposed to be a meritocracy, where even the poorest student who studies hard can make it into the middle class. But, as Motoko Rich, Amanda Cox and Matthew Bloch write in this 2016 article, “We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their Black and Hispanic peers in public schools. We’ve long understood the primary reason, too: A higher proportion of Black and Hispanic children come from poor families.”

What story do the graphs below tell about education inequality? What additional questions do these graphs raise?

GRAPH K

What is the relationship between race, socioeconomic status and education achievement?

 

Image

<p><em>Adapted from the 2016 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/04/29/upshot/money-race-and-success-how-your-school-district-compares.html">Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares</a>”</em></p>
Adapted from the 2016 article “Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares

GRAPH L

What is the relationship between gender, socioeconomic status and education achievement?

 

Image

Research is based on 260 million standardized test scores for third through eighth graders in nearly every district in the country.<br /><br /> <div class="singleRuleDivider"></div> <p><em>Adapted from the 2018 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/13/upshot/boys-girls-math-reading-tests.html">Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts</a>"</em></p>

Adapted from the 2018 article “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts”

GRAPH M

What is the relationship between family income and where you go to college?

 

Image

<em>Adapted from the 2017 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/18/upshot/some-colleges-have-more-students-from-the-top-1-percent-than-the-bottom-60.html">Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.</a>”</em>
Credit…Source: “Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility”, The Equality of Opportunity Project

GRAPH N

What does education inequality look like in the Asian-American community?

 

Image

<p><em>Adapted from the 2018 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/08/17/us/asian-income-inequality.html">How ‘Crazy Rich’ Asians Have Led to the Largest Income Gap in the U.S.</a>”</em></p>
Adapted from the 2018 article “How ‘Crazy Rich’ Asians Have Led to the Largest Income Gap in the U.S.”

GRAPH O

What is the relationship between family income and a child’s chances of attending college?

Note: Click on this link to be able to draw your own guess and to reveal the actual graph.

 

Image

<em>Adapted from the 2015 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/28/upshot/you-draw-it-how-family-income-affects-childrens-college-chances.html">You Draw It: How Family Income Predicts Children’s College Chances</a>”</em>

In this 2016 article, Sabrina Tavernise writes about a disturbing pattern in health data: “Despite big advances in medicine, technology and education, the longevity gap between high-income and low-income Americans has been widening sharply.”

What story do the graphs below tell about health care inequality? What additional questions do these graphs raise?

GRAPHS P

How has the relationship between income and life expectancy for men and women changed over time?

 

Image

<em>Adapted from the 2016 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/health/disparity-in-life-spans-of-the-rich-and-the-poor-is-growing.html">Disparity in Life Spans of the Rich and the Poor Is Growing</a>”</em>

GRAPH Q

Same question as above.

 

Image

<em>Adapted from the 2020 article “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/10/opinion/coronavirus-us-economy-inequality.html">America Will Struggle After Coronavirus. These Charts Show Why.</a>”</em>

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USA: Teach About Inequality With These 28 New York Times Graphs – Sarraute Educación María Magdalena

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