Locating Chicago’s Charter Schools: A Socio-Spatial Analysis

epaaEducation Policy Analysis Archives, Volume 24, Number 24, 14 March 2016

By Jennifer C. LaFleur

“This project contributes to the body of research examining the implications of the geographic location of charter schools for student access, especially in high-poverty communities. Using geographic information systems (GIS) software, this paper uses data from the U.S. Census American Community Survey to identify the socioeconomic characteristics of the census tracts in which Chicago’s charter schools tend to locate. Echoing the findings of other researchers who have examined charter school locational patterns, the present analyses found evidence of a “ceiling effect” by which many charter schools appear to locate in Chicago’s higher-needs census tracts, broadly cast, but avoid locating directly within those that are highest-need.

Map including portions of the following neighborhoods: South Austin, West Garfield Park, and West Humboldt Park. Yellow flags represent the location of charter schools. Shading reflects the number of standard deviation units the census tract’s socioeconomic need index score was from the city mean. Census tracts shaded in the lightest blue represent areas of lowest socioeconomic need, those shaded in the darkest blue represent areas of highest socioeconomic need.

Map including portions of the following neighborhoods: South Austin, West Garfield Park, and West Humboldt Park. Yellow flags represent the location of charter schools. Shading reflects the number of standard deviation units the census tract’s socioeconomic need index score was from the city mean. Census tracts shaded in the lightest blue represent areas of lowest socioeconomic need, those shaded in the darkest blue represent areas of highest socioeconomic need.

“The findings suggest that because Chicago’s charter schools face per-pupil expenditures that are often up to 20% less than those of traditional public schools, they may strategically leverage location to help shape student enrollment. By frequently locating near, but not directly within highest-need communities, charter schools may find it easier to attract a quorum of relatively higher achieving students who are less expensive to educate, therefore increasing their chances of meeting academic benchmarks and retaining their charters. By extending the findings of other researchers to the context of Chicago—where charters represent an ever-increasing share of the public school market—the present analyses may inform future revisions to the policies governing the authorization of charter schools in Chicago, with the goal of increasing access for highest-need students. ”

An Exploratory Spatial Analysis of Geographical Inequalities of Birth Intervals among Young Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): A Cross-sectional Study

BMCPCBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14:271, Published Online 13 August 2014

By Tobias F Chirwa, Jocelyn N Mantempa, Felly K Lukumu, Joseph D Kandala, and Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala

Background
The length of time between two successive live births (birth interval), is associated with child survival in the developing world. Short birth intervals (<24 months) contribute to infant and child mortality risks. Contraceptive use contributes to a reduction in short birth intervals, but evidence is lacking in the DRC. We aimed to investigate the proportion of short birth intervals at the provincial level among young women in the DRC.

Methods
Data from the Demographic and Health Survey undertaken in the DRC in 2007 were analyzed. Logistic regression and Bayesian geo-additive models were used to explain provincial inequalities in short birth intervals among women of reproductive age and young women. Posterior odds ratio (OR) and 95% credible region (CR) were estimated via Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques. Posterior spatial effects and the associated posterior probability maps were produced at the provincial-level to highlight provinces with a significant higher risk of short birth interval.

Results
The overall proportion of short birth intervals among all women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and young women (15-24 years) were 30.2% and 38.7% respectively. In multivariate Bayesian geo-additive regression analyses, among the whole sample of women, living in rural areas [OR = 1.07, 95% CR: (0.97, 1.17)], exclusive breastfeeding [1.08 (1.00, 1.17)] and women with primary education [1.06 (1.00, 1.16)], were consistently associated with a higher risk of short birth intervals. For the young women, none of the factors considered were associated with the risk of short birth interval except a marginal effect from the lack of education. There was a spatial variation in the proportion of women reporting short birth intervals and among all women of reproductive age across provinces, with Nord-Kivu [1.12 (1.02, 1.24)], Sud Kivu [1.17 (1.05, 1.29)] and Kasai Occidental [1.18 (1.06, 1.32)] reporting a higher risk of short birth intervals. For young women, the higher risk provinces were Nord-Kivu [1.22 (1.00, 1.54)] and Sud Kivu [1.34 (1.14, 1.63)].

Results show a clear East-south gradient; specifically, Kasai Occidental, Sud-Kivu and Nord Kivu wer e significantly associated with a higher likelihood of short birth intervals, while Kinshasa, Bas Congo and Bandundu provinces were associated with a lower risk of short birth int ervals.

Results show a clear East-south gradient; specifically, Kasai Occidental, Sud-Kivu and Nord Kivu were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of short birth intervals, while
Kinshasa, Bas Congo and Bandundu provinces were associated with a lower risk of short birth intervals.

Conclusions
This study suggests distinct geographic patterns in the proportion of short birth intervals among Congolese women, as well as the potential role of demographic and geographic location factors driving the ongoing higher youth fertility, higher childhood and maternal mortality in the DRC. ”

A Spatial Analysis to Study Access to Emergency Obstetric Transport Services under the Public Private “Janani Express Yojana” Program in Two Districts of Madhya Pradesh, India

rhReproductive Health 2014, 11:57 (22 July 2014)

By Yogesh Sabde, Ayesha De Costa, and Vishal Diwan

Background
The government in Madhya Pradesh (MP), India in 2006, launched “Janani Express Yojana” (JE), a decentralized, 24X7, free emergency transport service for all pregnant women under a public-private partnership. JE supports India’s large conditional cash transfer program, the “Janani Suraksha Yojana” (JSY) in the province and transports on average 60,000 parturients to hospital every month. The model is a relatively low cost one that potentially could be adopted in other parts of India and South Asia. This paper describes the uptake, time taken and geographic equity in access to the service to transport women to a facility in two districts of MP.

“Methods
This was a facility based cross sectional study. We interviewed parturients (n = 468) who delivered during a five day study period at facilities with >10 deliveries/month (n = 61) in two study districts. The women were asked details of transportation used to arrive at the facility, time taken and their residential addresses. These details were plotted onto a Geographic Information System (GIS) to estimate travelled distances and identify statistically significant clusters of mothers (hot spots) reporting delays >2 hours.

In district 2, forests covered 52.4% of the total district area (Figure 8). Most of the hot spot mothers in dis trict 2 acted differently in that they travelled longer distances through the forest areas to ac cess the CEmOC located in the district head quarter. The majority of women will not require to de liver in a Comprehensive EmOC facility, but the alternative to not delivering in a CEmO C facility in this setting is nearly equivalent to delivering in a dysfunctional facility, as none of the other facilities provide complete Basic EmOC which is life saving.

In district 2, forests covered 52.4% of the total district area. Most of the hot spot mothers in district 2 acted differently in that they travelled longer distances through the forest areas to access the CEmOC located in the district head quarter. The majority of women will not require to deliver in a Comprehensive EmOC facility, but the alternative to not delivering in a CEmOC facility in this setting is nearly equivalent to delivering in a dysfunctional facility, as none of the other facilities provide complete Basic EmOC which is life saving.

“Results
JE vehicles were well dispersed across the districts and used by 236 (50.03%) mothers of which 111(47.03%) took >2 hours to reach a facility. Inability of JE vehicle to reach a mother in time was the main reason for delays. There was no correlation between the duration of delay and distance travelled. Maps of the travel paths and travel duration of the women are presented. The study identified hot spots of mothers with delays >2 hours and explored the possible reasons for longer delays.

Conclusions
The JE service was accessible in all parts of the districts. Relatively high utilization rates of JE indicate that it ably supported JSY program to draw more women f or institutional deliveries. However, half of the JE users experienced long (>2 hour) delays. The delayed mothers clustered in difficult terrains of the districts. Additional support particularly for the identified hot spots, enhanced monitoring by state agencies and GIS tools can facilitate better effectiveness of the JE program. ”

Socio-environmental Drivers and Suicide in Australia: Bayesian Spatial Analysis

BMC Public HealthBMC Public Health 2014, 14:681, Published 4 July 2014

By Xin Qi, Wenbiao Hu, Kerrie Mengersen, and Shilu Tong

Background
The impact of socio-environmental factors on suicide has been examined in many studies. Few of them, however, have explored these associations from a spatial perspective, especially in assessing the association between meteorological factors and suicide. This study examined the association of meteorological and socio-demographic factors with suicide across small areas over different time periods.

Methods
Suicide, population and socio-demographic data (e.g., population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI), and unemployment rate (UNE)) at the Local Government Area (LGA) level were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the period of 1986 to 2005. Information on meteorological factors (rainfall, temperature and humidity) was supplied by Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). A Bayesian Conditional Autoregressive (CAR) Model was applied to explore the association of socio-demographic and meteorological factors with suicide across LGAs.

Suicide rates across LGAs and unincorporated SLAs, 1996-2000.

Suicide rates across LGAs and unincorporated SLAs, 1996-2000.

Results
In Model I (socio-demographic factors), proportion of ATSI and UNE were positively associated with suicide from 1996 to 2000 (Relative Risk (RR)ATSI = 1.0107, 95% Credible Interval (CI): 1.0062-1.0151; RRUNE = 1.0187, 95% CI: 1.0060-1.0315), and from 2001 to 2005 (RRATSI = 1.0126, 95% CI: 1.0076-1.0176; RRUNE = 1.0198, 95% CI: 1.0041-1.0354). Socio-Economic Index for Area (SEIFA) and IND, however, had negative associations with suicide between 1986 and 1990 (RRSEIFA = 0.9983, 95% CI: 0.9971-0.9995; RRATSI = 0.9914, 95% CI: 0.9848-0.9980). Model II (meteorological factors): a 1[degree sign]C higher yearly mean temperature across LGAs increased the suicide rate by an average by 2.27% (95% CI: 0.73%, 3.82%) in 1996-2000, and 3.24% (95% CI: 1.26%, 5.21%) in 2001-2005. The associations between socio-demographic factors and suicide in Model III (socio-demographic and meteorological factors) were similar to those in Model I; but, there is no substantive association between climate and suicide in Model III.

Conclusions
Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, unemployment and temperature appeared to be statistically associated with of suicide incidence across LGAs among all selected variables, especially in recent years. The results indicated that socio-demographic factors played more important roles than meteorological factors in the spatial pattern of suicide incidence.”

Ocean Industries and the Global Oceans Action Summit

World Ocean CouncilWOC Working to Ensure Industry Input to Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth (The Hague, 22 – 25 April 2014)

The World Ocean Council (WOC) is working to help ensure ocean business community participation in the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth (The Hague, 22 – 25 April 2014).

Organized by the Netherlands, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank, the Global Oceans Action Summit seeks to convene global leaders, ocean practitioners, business, science, civil society and international agencies to share experiences and demonstrate how combined action in partnerships for healthier and productive oceans can drive sustainable growth and shared prosperity.

The organizers have invited WOC to reach out to the global ocean business community and encourage participation in the Global Oceans Action Summit. The event organizers are especially interested in participation from the seafood, fisheries, aquaculture, oil/gas, and shipping sectors, but also from a wide range of ocean industries.

The WOC has been invited to participate in the summit’s high level session on Thursday 24 April as part of assuring that the event does connect with diverse ocean business community, as well as being invited to participate in panels on Blue Growth.

The Global Oceans Action Summit will highlight the need to address successful integrated approaches that attract public-private partners, secure financing and catalyze good ocean governance while balancing between (i) growth and conservation, (ii) private sector interests and equitable benefits for communities and (iii) Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).

For more info on the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food Security and Blue Growth, see http://www.globaloceansactionsummit.com/.

[Source: World Ocean Council  press release]

Using Participatory GIS to Measure Physical Activity and Urban Park Benefits

Landscape and Urban PlanningLandscape and Urban Planning, Volume 121, January 2014, Pages 34–44

By Greg Brown, Morgan Faith Schebella, and Delene Weber

“Highlights:

  • Uses participatory GIS methods to measure physical activities and benefits of urban parks.
  • Examines relationship between park activities and benefits with park type, size, and location.
  • Park type and size are significantly related to the type and amount of physical activities and community benefits received from urban parks.
  • Participatory GIS research methods have limitations but appear useful for examining spatial relationships to inform urban parks planning.

“Previous urban park research has used self-reported surveys and physical activity logs to examine associations between physical activity and park features, size, and distance to participants’ homes. In this study, we used participatory geographic information systems (GIS) methods to explore potential correlates of physical activity and other health benefits in urban parks. Using an internet-based public participation geographic information system (PPGIS) system, study participants identified the spatial locations where they engaged in various types of physical activity and where they received other park benefits—environmental, social, and psychological health benefits. Using an urban park typology, we found that different urban park types provide different opportunities for physical activity with linear parks providing the greatest overall physical benefit while other park types provided important non-physical community benefits. Distance to park was not a significant predictor of physical activity but park size was correlated with physical activity and other park benefits. We discuss the strengths and limitations of using PPGIS methods for understanding the benefits of urban park systems.”

Social Inequalities in Neighborhood Conditions: Spatial Relationships between Sociodemographic and Food Environments in Alameda County, California

Journal of MapsJournal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012, pages 344-348

Catherine Cubbin, Jina Jun, Claire Margerison-Zilko, Nicolas Welch, James Sherman, Talia McCray, and Barbara Parmenter

“Previous research suggests that neighborhoods in the United States with high concentrations of poverty or of racial/ethnic minorities have lower access to healthy foods and greater access to unhealthy foods, compared with higher income or predominantly White, non-Hispanic neighborhoods. Lower access is thought to influence dietary habits and resulting health consequences, such as obesity. While most studies have focused on either neighborhood SES or features of the built environment, few have explicitly examined both. Using data from the Geographic Research on Wellbeing study, we map the spatial relationships between sociodemographic characteristics (poverty trajectories, racial/ethnic/nativity composition) and food environments in Alameda County, California. Our map presents poverty trajectories and racial/ethnic/nativity composition at the tract level, as well as maps depicting accessibility to healthy, unhealthy, and a composite of both, based on rasterized maps and a network analysis of food types within a quarter-mile walking distance. We found that neighborhoods that have experienced long-term poverty have the greatest access to both healthy and unhealthy food outlets compared with more economically advantaged neighborhoods. We also found that predominantly Black/Latino neighborhoods had the greatest access to healthy foods compared with other neighborhoods with a different race/ethnicity/nativity composition. Neighborhoods experiencing long-term affluence, as well as predominantly White neighborhoods, had the lowest access to any of the food types, which likely reflects their surburban locations. Results suggest that spatial relationships between sociodemographic characteristics and food access at the neighborhood level depend upon place and urbanization.”