New Kids on the Block

Greg J. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Jeffrey R. Kling, and Lisa Sanbonmatsu

Results from the Moving to Opportunity experiment

If only we could move poor kids out of high-poverty, inner-city neighborhoods. Moving to more affluent neighborhoods would surround children with more educated adult role models, stronger educational values, and better community resources. The children would benefit from higher-quality schools and the peer influences of high-achieving classmates. We would be sure to see improvement in their academic performance. Right? Maybe. Research has in fact found surprisingly little convincing evidence that neighborhoods play a key role in children’s educational success.

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Greg J. Duncan

Distinguished Professor - University of California, Irvine

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education, Teachers College and College of Physicians and Surgeons - Columbia University