How Population Contributes to Politics: Population growth in various communities across the nation is contributing to a slow, but sure, demographic change that's beginning to affect the political system, Dante Chinni writes for the Wall Street Journal. In this column, he explains how population growth, and the addition of mere hundreds of thousands of new voting-age residents could very well tip the scales in the favor of either candidate.

Data Shows For-Profit Universities Produce Most College Grads of Color: The University of Phoenix and Ashford University--both for-profit universities--were the top degree producing institutions for black baccalaureates, Colorlines reports. As federal regulations eased up on for-profit institutions, they were "able to gather up a segment of the U.S. population that's hungry to advance itself in the labor market, but has been otherwise excluded from traditional avenues of higher education," the publication reports.

Why Castro's Lack of Spanish Doesn't Mean He's Not Latino: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's lack of Spanish skills doesn't make him any less Latino than fluent Spanish speakers, Raul Reyes argues for NBCLatino.com. In fact, it makes him even more symbolic of the rising Latino demographic in the U.S.: a group of whom 24 percent speak primarily English and only 38 percent are bilingual, according to Pew data.

The Conversation We Need to Have About Education Reform: Advocates are looking to charter schools, vouchers and accountability programs as the beacon of hope for education reform, but the core of the issue--racial disparities deeply rooted in the history of public education--will still persist until the country addresses it, argues Susan Naimark for the Huffington Post. Naimark argues that history of racial discrimination against African-Americans, and to an extent against Latinos, have created a system that consistently fails its students.

This article is part of our Next America: Communities project, which is supported by a grant from Emerson Collective.

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