Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Onion Examines Geographic Literacy

I think I need to point out up front that The Onion is not one of those news sources that obsesses about facts. I thought some of you might enjoy this.

Report: 6 Out Of 10 Americans Cannot Locate Payless Shoes On A Mall Map 

The Onion

Report: 6 Out Of 10 Americans Cannot Locate Payless Shoes On A Mall Map 

WASHINGTON—"No schoolchild should be allowed to grow up ignorant of the varied chain stores around him," said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.


Excerpts from the article:

Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who personally monitored the study, said that the United States ranked behind 130 other nations when it came to mall-map comprehension—an embarrassment considering one-third of the countries surveyed didn't even have shopping centers. "In a modern, mall-going society, these important life skills should be second nature to citizens of all ages," Spellings said. "No schoolchild should be allowed to grow up ignorant of the varied chain stores around him."

Despite her frustration, Spellings said she wasn't surprised by the poor test results, and claimed that they signaled a larger cultural illiteracy trend. According to Spellings, over the last decade Americans have fallen off in almost every field of study and endeavor, from mall geography to television history to basic text-message reading and writing. ...
Accompanying Chart

Offended by the implication of her claims, many citizens have called Spelling's allegations overly alarmist and extremely pessimistic, and a large number are now asking, "What's a Secretary of Education?"

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