Study: Housing matters when it comes to achievement
| Oct 15, 2010
The education reform debate is dominated by efforts to make high-poverty schools work better, but a new report released by The Century Foundation suggests that a more promising strategy involves providing low-income families a chance to live in more-advantaged neighborhoods, where their children can attend low-poverty public schools.
The Century Foundation study, Housing Policy Is School Policy, conducted by Heather Schwartz of the RAND Corporation, compares two strategies being used by Montgomery County, Maryland, that have shown promising results for their public schools. On the one hand, Montgomery County school officials have poured extra resources into about half of the district’s higher poverty elementary schools designated as being part of the “red zone.” On the other hand, the county’s “inclusionary zoning” housing policy, dating back to the mid- 1970s, creates an opportunity for the children of low-income families in public housing to attend more-affluent “green zone” schools in the county (which spend less per student than red zone schools).
Read an article in The Washington Post about the study or read the report at The Century Foundation website.