2016 Community Snapshots

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The 2016 Community Snapshots are here!  This year we have…

Each 2016 Community Snapshot includes a number of new features:

  1. Chronic Absence Rate by School District
  2. Breakdown of Suspended by Race
  3. Median Family Income Map for Families with Children Under 18.

Special thanks goes to Denise Killeen, our fearless project leader, our graduate intern Sarah Aparicio and our summer Blumenthal intern Sarah Halperin.

A Couple Notes

  • For the communities of Mamaroneck, Port Chester, and Ossining, the school district, NOT the municipality, was the basis for demographic and socioeconomic data.
  • We calculated the School Enrollment by Race by using US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights 2013-14 Data Set (CRDC).  This data set provided us the student suspension numbers by race, which is NOT available through the NY State Education Department (NYSED), our usual go-to place for education statistics.  Because we wanted to make a straight comparison between student enrollment broken by race, and students suspended broken down by race, we decided to stick with ONE data-set. Just for kicks, we decided to compare the NYSED enrollment numbers against the CRDC enrollment numbers, and in some cases we see significant differences, which will require further investigation. As a result, there may be differences between enrollment race breakdowns as listed CRDC compared to enrollment race breakdowns in NYSED.
  • District Chronic Absence Rate is listed on the snapshot. On our blog, you can also see district Chronic Absence Rates broken down by race.
  • We decided NOT to list last year’s ELA/Math scores due to changes in the test this year.  NYSED directly discourages comparisons between 2016 and 2015 score results.
  • Crime rate was calculated by taking the number of crimes (property + violent) occurring in the police district then dividing that by the total population derived from the American Community Survey as best as we could determine. That number was then multiplied by 100,000 to come up with the rate.
  • Unemployment Rates listed apply to the Civilian Labor Force.
  • Health data is broken down by zip code, but zip code borders, for the most part, do not align with school district borders.  As a result, zip codes cited in health data are zip codes that are either partially or entirely contained within the specified school district.

Geographic Vent

We often get asked “Why don’t we feature more communities in Community Snapshots?”

Believe me, we would love to do just that, but there are reasons why we refrain from making new promises:

As the communities get smaller, the defined geographies get messier:

Cities like Yonkers, White Plains, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, and Peekskill (the original five cities for our Community Snapshots), from a mapping point of view, are a beautiful thing because there is often more or less alignment between school district borders and municipality borders.

It’s not so easy for communities like Ossining, Mamaroneck, and Port Chester, because the municipality borders and school district borders do NOT align.  For example, the Ossining School District includes the municipalities of Ossining Village, Ossining Town, Yorktown, Briarcliff Manor, and New Castle.

The smaller the community, the bigger the guess.

Most of the demographic and socioeconomic data comes from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.  Unlike the Decennial Census, which is conducted once every ten years, the American Community Survey is conducted EVERY year.  That is the GOOD news.

The BAD news is that the American Community Survey does not survey the entire population.  The numbers from the American Community Survey are estimates based on surveys that are mailed to households lucky enough to be included in that year’s sample.  When was the last time you got a questionnaire from the American Community Survey?  I know what it actually is and I haven’t seen one yet in MY mailbox.

So given that a small community has less population to begin with, it means that the American Community Survey will most likely have less people from that small community in its sample.  Which means that the American Community Survey estimate is going to be much more of a guesstimate.  We, at WCA, want to provide you with actual information, not just data for the sake of data, so we’re refraining from posting data from smaller communities at this point in the game.

BUT…

Feedback

We’re always listening.  ALWAYS listening.  We added Mamaroneck to our list of Community Snapshots this year BECAUSE we kept on getting requests for it.

So as we recover from this year’s Community Snapshots, we’d love to hear your feedback – good and bad.  Please let us know what we can do better for next year.

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