Technical Report

Case Studies Exploring the Potential Relationship Between Schools and Neighborhood Revitalization

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This report documents neighborhood revitalization efforts that have included school reform as part of a comprehensive revitalization plan. This study is exploratory, aimed more at identifying the issues involved in incorporating school reform into neighborhood revitalization than providing models for how this can be done. The report provides a detailed examination, in the form of case studies, of school reform efforts undertaken in distressed neighborhoods in three cities—Atlanta, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. The case studies are based primarily on in-depth interviews with key individuals and entities involved in the school reform and neighborhood revitalization efforts, including housing authority staff, private developers, foundations, local education reform specialists, community-based organizations, school principals and staff, and neighborhood residents.2 The case studies focus on the school reform efforts at each site, rather than on the broader neighborhood revitalization strategies, because considerable work has already been done on housing-based neighborhood redevelopment. HUD, for example, continues to provide The Mixed Finance Guidebook to help housing authorities and developers plan and implement housing-based neighborhood revitalization, for example through the HOPE VI program. By contrast, most housing practitioners do not have a sense of what it takes to create or recreate an excellent school in a distressed neighborhood, or what role that school might play in effecting neighborhood change.

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... By contrast, neighborhoods with other federally assisted units, mostly serving exclusively very low income populations, experienced a decline in such activity. 4 In some cases, local governments have also benefited from developer-or state-led investments in new schools near new mixedincome housing (Khadduri et al. 2003). ...
If, as Joseph argues, there is so little evidence that mixed‐income development alleviates poverty, why does it enjoy such wide acceptance as a method of delivering affordable housing? I argue that such development, while still small in scale, is largely faithful to the economic integration that occurs organically in most urban neighborhoods today. Moreover, the greater degree of social control and higher quality of public and private services in mixed‐income versus high‐poverty neighborhoods provide benefits for residents and local governments alike. For these and other reasons, many European nations have embraced mixed‐income strategies even more actively than the United States has. Although additional research is surely needed, Joseph's findings on mixed‐income urban developments should be viewed in the wider context of what we know about “dispersal” and “inclusionary” housing strategies that embrace economic integration as a viable antidote to concentrated urban poverty.
... It is natural, therefore, to hypothesize a link between the quality of schools in a neighborhood and the success of that neighborhood and its residents. Indeed, several efforts across the country to pursue community development approaches combining schools with housing and place-based services have now been documented (Khadduri, Schwartz, and Turnham 2007;Khadduri et al. 2003;McKoy, Vincent, and Bierbaum 2011;Proscio 2004). The idea motivating such efforts is that linking housing, place-based services, and schools can create "positive feedback that enhances neighborhood vitality, improves school quality, and promotes equity and opportunity for families and their children" (Turner and Berube 2009, 1). ...
... She cites David Rusk's research as indicating the need for a 'healthy' mixture of students in the classroom. Unfortunately, the limited evidence available (Khadduri et al. 2003 shows that HOPE Downloaded by [University Library Utrecht] at 08:28 26 November 2013 VI sites have generally failed to attract middle-income families with children due to perceptions of local public schools being substandard. Whether big-city school systems will be able to improve local schools and/or change middle-class parents' perceptions of public school quality is highly uncertain. ...
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Based on a comparison of HOPE VI and Big Cities Policy in the United States and the Netherlands, we argue that despite major differences in context, there has been a convergence in regeneration strategies in the two countries. In both countries the neighbourhoods look better, are safer and have a better reputation. However, in the Netherlands shopping facilities have improved more than in the United States. In both countries, most of the original residents have a better quality of life after than before the policies were implemented, whether they live on-site or have relocated. However, the needs of multi-problem families are not being met by either HOPE VI or Big Cities Policy. Finally, there is no evidence that the original residents have become more self-sufficient in either country as a result of the regeneration.
... In the service model, service-delivery organizations partner with public schools to open community, or full-service, schools that typically provide a range of after-school programs, evening classes, and health services for children and their families (Dryfoos & Maguire, 2002). In the development model, community development corporations, which have typically focused on building affordable housing and fostering economic development, team up with educators to open new community-based schools, often as charter schools (Chung, 2002;Khadduri, Turnham, Chase, & Schwartz, 2003). When community organizing groups collaborate with public schools, they take their emphasis on building power for social and political change into the school itself through processes of relationship building, leadership development, and public action (Gold, Simon, & Brown, 2002;Mediratta, 2004;Shirley, 1997). ...
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Background/Context Parent involvement in education is widely recognized as important, yet it remains weak in many communities. One important reason for this weakness is that urban schools have grown increasingly isolated from the families and communities they serve. Many of the same neighborhoods with families who are disconnected from public schools, however, often contain strong community-based organizations (CBOs) with deep roots in the lives of families. Many CBOs are beginning to collaborate with public schools, and these collaborations might potentially offer effective strategies to engage families more broadly and deeply in schools. Purpose This article presents a community-based relational approach to fostering parent engagement in schools. We investigated the efforts of CBOs to engage parents in schools in low-income urban communities. We argue that when CBOs are authentically rooted in community life, they can bring to schools a better understanding of the culture and assets of families, as well as resources that schools may lack. As go-betweens, they can build relational bridges between educators and parents and act as catalysts for change. Research Design Using case study methodology, we studied three notable school-community collaborations: the Logan Square Neighborhood Association in Chicago, Illinois; the Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles, California; and the Quitman Street Community School in Newark, New Jersey. Each case represents one of three types of collaboration identified in previous research: community service, community development and community organizing. Findings Although differences in context mattered, we found three common dimensions of parent engagement work across the cases. The three core elements of this community-based relational approach are (1) an emphasis on relationship building among parents and between parents and educators, (2) a focus on the leadership development of parents, and (3) an effort to bridge the gap in culture and power between parents and educators. We contrast this community-based approach with more traditional, school-centric, and individualistic approaches to parent involvement. Conclusions There are a number of lessons from this study for educators interested in broadening and deepening parent participation in schools. First, educators can benefit from taking a patient approach, building relationships over time. Second, schools may not be able to do parent engagement work alone; they can profit from the social capital expertise of community-based organizations. Finally, educators would benefit from understanding that communities bring different needs, aspirations, and desires to their children's education. If educators collaborate with community partners and help to develop parent leadership, they can form initiatives that meet the interests, values, and capacities of any particular school community.
... Children from the Villages of East Lake and the surrounding community receive priority when enrolling, but the school is open to any student residing within the Atlanta Public School District. School improvements also figured prominently in the revitalization of Atlanta's Centennial Place, which includes a magnet school that serves both community residents and those from other parts of the city (Holin et al. 2003;Khadduri et al. 2003;Turbov and Piper 2004). ...
... Congregating in front of townhouses is discouraged at all times. ( Khadduri et al. 2003). ...
... Charter schools seem to be emerging as a strategy of choice as community developers engage in a new conversation about the potential role of schoolbased strategies in community revitalization (see Chung, 2002;Khadduri, Turnham, Chase, & Schwartz, 2003;Stone et al., 1999). Several national community-development intermediaries have begun to help finance communitysponsored charters. ...
Incl. bibl. references In this article, Mark R. Warren argues that if urban school reform in the United States is to be successful, it must be linked to the revitalization of the communities around our schools. Warren identifies a growing field of collaboration between public schools and community-based organizations, developing a typology that identifies three different approaches: the service approach (community schools); the development approach (community sponsorship of new charter schools); and the organizing approach (school-community organizing). The author elaborates a conceptual framework using theories of social capital and relational power, presenting case studies to illustrate each type. He also discusses a fourth case to demonstrate the possibilities for linking individual school change to political strategies that address structures of poverty. Warren identifies shared lessons across these approaches, and compares and contrasts the particular strengths and weaknesses of each. Warren concludes with a call for a new approach to urban education reform that links it theoretically and practically to social change in America's cities.
New charter schools can potentially provide disenfranchised students with enhanced academic opportunities while simultaneously serving as neighborhood anchors that reinforce neighborhood socioeconomic growth. However, for both of these arguments to be true, charter schools would have to replace low‐performing public schools in currently disadvantaged, but revitalizing, neighborhoods. Using data from the Chicago Public Schools, the Common Core, and the Census, we examine the neighborhood and school‐level factors that account for where elementary schools closed and opened in Chicago during the late 1990s and 2000s. We find that schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods were more likely to close, but only because these were also underperforming and under‐enrolled schools. After controlling for educational demand, new schools were more likely to open in neighborhoods that showed signs of socioeconomic revitalization and declining proportions of white residents.
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