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ERIC Number: EJ862339
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 69
ISSN: ISSN-0077-5762
Public Housing Reform and Neighborhood Schools: How Local Contexts "Must" Matter
Smrekar, Claire
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, v108 n1 p41-62 Apr 2009
In 1992, Congress enacted the HOPE VI program to overhaul the nation's public housing policy. The reform legislation was prompted by a report commissioned by Congress that deemed two-thirds of all public housing "severely distressed." Since the landmark public housing policy was enacted in 1992, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded 230 HOPE VI grants to more than 150 cities at a cost of over $5 billion. Recent studies sponsored by HUD and private research groups have examined the neighborhood effects of HOPE VI projects. Although the magnitude of positive neighborhood impact varies across sites, most reports indicate reductions in rates of poverty, crime and unemployment in and near HOPE VI neighborhoods. None of these studies, however, explores the impact of HOPE VI community revitalization on nearby neighborhood schools, although these changes provide an ideal setting for focused research on the implications of these public policies for the local educational environments of urban families and their children. This author sets forth a proposed comparative, multiple-case, mixed method research project designed to answer these questions, and describes a pilot study that is already under way in Nashville, Tennessee. The initial findings from this pilot study underscore three preconditions that may influence the degree of socio-economic diversity in HOPE VI neighborhoods and neighborhood schools: context, partnerships, and social processes. The finding related to local context suggests that the ability to create socio-economically diverse neighborhoods and neighborhood schools is dependent upon the degree to which public housing authorities and school leaders together tailor strategies linked to specific community assets and school needs. Planners should assess the climate within public housing neighborhoods, school districts, and the community and look for opportunities within each area to create strategic reform initiatives. Utilizing that information, planners must develop partnerships that include a range of stakeholders and tap into each organization's area of expertise in order to maximize available resources. Stakeholders must be willing to share information and appropriately defer power in areas where others have more expertise. Consistency in leadership is essential; this pilot study highlights the finding that partners must understand and commit to social processes, including building trust, familiarity, and reciprocity, that will take years to develop and evaluate. (Contains 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A