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Media: Two Maps, Two Charter "Explosions"

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 22 00.12LEFT:  Here's the graphic that Columbia Journalism School students produced this past summer, showing the "explosion" of charter schools over the recent years. 

ScreenHunter_02 Dec. 22 00.16


RIGHT:  Now, here's the graphic from US News from more recently.  Note the similar terminology and graphics package.

What do you think?  Coincidence, or ripoff? 

I'm told that the students pitched their story package to the magazine but were turned down. 


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i mean it looks like a rip-off, but it also looks like any other map i've seen with data...it reminds m e of the huge maps from Diploma Counts....

the shading is different...so i dont know....maybe hte idea is a rip-off?

A LOT of correspondences there. Hard to say in the final analysis.

Another similarity between the two is that they are both out of date. Another charter school map for your enjoyment: http://www.charterschoolresearch.com/

Neither map is as illuminating as the explosion terminology would lead a reader to believe. The number of schools is a red herring metric. How many students attend charter schools as a percentage of all students enrolled in public schools? The number surely is up, but not on the trajectory of new schools opened. Even better, what percentage of students are enrolled in "good charter schools," the kind that the USDOE wants to support?

good comments, everyone -- i agree especially with the point joseph makes about the use of the word explosion, which i also find misleading -- 5,000 schools in 20 years isn't an explosion -- 250 mostly very small schools a year in a national system of 15,000 school districts

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