Panel Paper: Are We Punishing Our Poorest Neighborhoods? Evaluating the Consequences of No Child Left Behind

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 10:55 AM
Salon A (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Keren Horn, New York University

School reforms in our country have historically been made with no consideration of the communities that are served by each given school.  However, school reforms could have important implications for surrounding communities as households (particularly those with children) place great weight on school quality and take schools into account when making residential choices.  This paper will fill the gap in our knowledge of how school reforms shape neighborhoods, focusing specifically on the effects of No Child Left Behind (NCBL).  I begin by identifying all the schools across the country that failed to make adequate yearly progress and describing the communities surrounding these schools.  Specifically I explore whether the majority of failing schools are located in poor urban neighborhoods, or if they are more widely dispersed across neighborhood types.  I then proceed to identify how these reforms have affected household residential decisions in five diverse urban school districts: New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and Tucson.  I explore whether failing to meet adequate yearly progress changes neighborhood vacancy rates, rents and house prices.  I then examine whether neighborhood composition changes as a result of this failure; whether the neighborhood experiences a shift in the share of households with children living in the neighborhood, the tenure composition of the neighborhood and the socioeconomic as well as racial composition of households in the neighborhood.  I then follow the school zones that fail to meet AYP over time to determine if the subsequent school reforms lead to further declines or improve neighborhoods.