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Housing Experiment for Poor Found to Lack School Payoff: Achievement Unaffected by Anti-poverty Program

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn was quoted in the January 25th, 2006 issue of Education Week, in the article "Housing Experiment for Poor Found to Lack School Payoff: Achievement unaffected by anti-poverty program," by Debra Viadero.


The article described the findings of the follow-up study tracking families in the Moving to Opportunity Project, a 10-year experiment launched in the mid-1990s.  The study involved 2,300 families from New York, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, and Los Angeles provided with vouchers to move from public housing to less disadvantaged neighborhoods.  The study reported that while there have been some gains made among the families that moved, in terms of education, after five years the majority of the children involved did not show sustained academic improvement.


Dr. Brooks-Gunn, one of the authors of the study, told EdWeek that this could be attributed to the fact that the affected children went to schools that were not much better than schools they left behind.  "At least in these five cities," said Ms. Brooks-Gunn, a professor of child development at Teachers College, Columbia University and Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons, "when you moved to new neighborhoods that are lower-poverty, you weren't moving to affluent suburbs.  You were moving to communities where schools' percentile scores were a bit higher, but not much higher."


Dr. Brooks-Gunn is also co-director of the National Center for Children and Families at TC.

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