April 27, 2018

Dropping Knowledge

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ State Center for Health Statistics released a set of interactive maps showing social determinants of health indicators in North Carolina. The maps are broken into 10 regions, and when you click on a region, you can see multiple different indicators, including household income, demographics, percent uninsured, percent living in rental housing, percent without access to a vehicle, and food deserts. It is an impressive display of a lot of data.

DHHS map

On a different note, North Carolina submitted its list of candidates for Opportunity Zones to the U.S. Treasury on April 20. The Opportunity Zones program was created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to stimulate private investment in low-income areas. Economics21 published a good explainer of the potential for Opportunity Zones, and you can see the list of candidate zones North Carolina submitted here.

Food for Thought

Systems mapping is a fascinating approach to solving big, complex problems. The Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article this week about a group using systems mapping to identify root causes of the STEM teacher shortage and mobilize hundreds of universities, nonprofits, and government agencies to add 100,000 STEM teachers to America’s K-12 classrooms by 2021. If you haven’t heard of systems mapping, this is a good introduction and shows how it can be used on a large scale.

Systems mapping

A New Slant

A new report out of Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy tackles the claim that most guns used in crimes are stolen. According to the report, stolen guns account for only 1 percent of all gun transactions nationwide, and less than 3 percent of crime guns recovered by the police in Chicago had been reported stolen. The author notes that more research needs to be done and proposes a research agenda for further study.

In Case You Missed It

Reach NC Voices is powering a survey for the myFutureNC Commission, and they need your input! The Commission looks to improve degree attainment across the state. You could win one of five $100 Amazon gift cards by taking the survey here.


  • The Perks of a Play-in-the-Mud Educational Philosophy

    The Atlantic | 04/26/2018

  • Finland Has Second Thoughts About Giving Free Money to Jobless People

    The Upshot | 04/24/2018

  • Why North Carolina’s Approach to Data Analytics Is ‘People Focused’

    Route Fifty | 04/23/2018

  • Unpacking the “housing shortage” puzzle

    Brookings Institute | 04/25/2018

  • The assisted-dying movement gathers momentum in America

    The Economist | 04/26/2018

  • The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents

    Pew Research | 04/25/2018