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ERIC Number: ED556756
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Public Housing and Public Schools: How Do Students Living in NYC Public Housing Fare in School? Policy Brief
Institute for Education and Social Policy
While research and policy debates center on residents moving out of public housing, many families still live in public housing around the country; it is important to consider how to improve their well-being. Approximately 1.2 million units of public housing provide housing for about 3 million tenants throughout the country. In New York City, there are 180,000 units of public housing--more than any other city in the United States. These developments house an estimated 130,000 children, or about one out of every nine students in New York City's public schools. Despite these large numbers, there has been little examination of the life chances of the families and children living in the City's many public housing complexes. There has been virtually no work done in any city to analyze the academic performance of children and teens living in public housing. To fill this gap, NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and its Institute for Education and Social Policy came together to examine the school performance of children living in housing managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and compare their educational outcomes with the outcomes of other comparable students who do not live in public housing. While this policy brief points to an achievement gap between students who live in NYCHA housing and those who do not, the data does not allow for the isolation of the reason for the disparity. Key findings include: (1) Public school students living in NYCHA housing are concentrated in a handful of schools; (2) NYCHA students attend schools in which their peers are more likely to be poor and more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities; (3) Even controlling for differences in race, gender, nativity status, and school characteristics, 5th grade students living in public housing perform worse on standardized tests than those living elsewhere; (4) The gap persists at the high school level, but is a little less pronounced; and (5) Neighborhoods matter--NYCHA students living in high-poverty neighborhoods score lower on standardized tests than NYCHA students living in lower poverty neighborhoods. The challenge for policymakers is to undertake research that will provide better understanding of the factors that contribute to the troubling gap between the academic performance of NYCHA students and that of their peers.
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York University, Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP); New York University, Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy
Identifiers - Location: New York