New Kids on the Block: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment (Research) (Report) - Education Next

New Kids on the Block: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment (Research) (Report)

By Education Next

  • Release Date: 2007-09-22
  • Genre: Education
New Kids on the Block: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment (Research) (Report) book review score

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New Kids on the Block: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment (Research) (Report) Education Next Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

If only we could move poor kids out of high-poverty, inner-city neighborhoods. Moving to more affluent neighborhoods would surround children with more educated adult role models, stronger educational values, and better community resources. The children would benefit from higher-quality schools and the peer influences of high-achieving classmates. We would be sure to see improvement in their academic performance. Right? Maybe. Research has in fact found surprisingly little convincing evidence that neighborhoods play a key role in children's educational success. To assess the influence of neighborhoods on children's education, we need to compare large numbers of children in similar families who reside in different communities. Unfortunately, the task is not as simple as finding families who already live in higher- and lower-poverty neighborhoods. Even if these families share characteristics that we can measure, such as income and parental education levels, there may be differences we cannot measure that both led these otherwise similar families to reside in their respective neighborhoods and influence the academic performance of their children. This possibility leaves us uncertain about how much neighborhoods, as compared to family influences, matter for children's academic performance.

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