CNN.com recently featured a fascinating interactive map that lets you explore the country by numbers. Specifically, the map focuses on population density.
However, there's more. The map lets you focus on different demographics. For example, you can see where the highest concentration of Native Americans are located, or Pacific Islanders. Even more interesting, you can see how the racial/ethnic makeup of our country has changed in the last ten years, using 2010 census data. For example, which areas of the country have seen the biggest change in the population of African Americans? Hispanics?
So how does this apply to us as educators?
If you're a teacher or an administrator, you know firsthand that more and more of our nation's students are coming to school speaking a language other than English in their homes. I'd wager that most of you have students whose first language is Spanish, and many of you probably have students whose first language is Vietnamese, Hmong, or Tagalog.
The information on this map directly affects our schools and your classrooms. If you live in Stewart County, Georgia, try selecting "Hispanic population change" and checking the box marked "Greatest Rate of Increase." You'll see that in your backyard, the Hispanic population grew 1,740% in the past decade.
Teachers and administrators need tools such as Imagine Language & Literacy to serve these student populations, which are growing fast. Can we keep up?
Check your area of the country on the map.