Housing Policy is School Policy: Economically Integrative Housing Promotes Academic Success in Montgomery Count, Maryland
Examination of elementary school math and reading performances of public housing students from very-low-poverty to moderate-poverty level neighborhoods to determine effects of economic integration on performance.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- Over a period of five to seven years, children in public housing who attended the school district's most-advantaged schools (as measured by either subsidized lunch status or district's own criteria) far outperformed in math and reading those children in public housing who attended the district's least-advantaged elementary schools.
- After two years in the district, children in public housing performed equally on standardized math tests regardless of poverty level of the school they attended.
- By fifth year in district, statistically significant (p<0.05) emerged between the average performance of children in public housing in low-poverty schools compared to those in moderate-poverty schools.
- By seventh year in district, children in low-poverty schools performed an average of eight normal curve equivalent (NCE) points higher than children in higher-poverty schools.
- At the end of elementary school, children in public housing in Montgomery County's most affluent half of elementary schools performed eight points higher in math (0.4 of a standard deviation) and five points higher in reading (0.2 of a standard deviation) than otherwise similar children in public housing who attended schools with greater than 20% poverty.
- School-based economic integration effects accrued over time.
- The academic returns from economic integration diminished as school poverty levels rose.
- Using subsidized meals as the metric for measuring school need might be insufficient.
- Residential stability improved students' academic outcomes.
- Children in public housing benefited academically from living in low-poverty neighborhoods, but less than from attending low-poverty schools.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Housing, Integration, Math, Poverty, Reading
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Elementary School Students
Unit of Analysis:
Neighborhood, School, Student
- 858 students living in public housing that 1) were enrolled in elementary grades K-6 for at least two consecutive years between 2001-2007 2) have at least one test score and 3) do not qualify for special education services of more than fourteen hours a week.
- 72% African American
- 87% of families were headed by females
- DV: Math and reading achievement levels (test scores).
- IV: Student ESL status, school year dummies, time-related predictors (time elapsed since student first entered the school district and time of test score-to test when effects occurred), advantage level of school (SES composition of school).