The map in figure 1 below highlights NYC census tracts with high rates of poverty in 2010 (the most recent year for which these data are available). We see areas of concentrated poverty in every borough, including broad swaths of central Brooklyn, upper Manhattan, and the Bronx, as well as smaller parts of Queens and Staten Island. How have students who live in these areas performed in school, relative to those from more affluent neighborhoods?
Figure 1: Map of High-Poverty Census Tracts, 2010
Additional analyses, not shown here, highlight links between other outcomes and neighborhood income. For example, low rates of proficiency on state exams have consistently been concentrated in the poorest census tracts, even as students’ overall performance has improved. These trends raise important questions for researchers and policymakers working to close gaps for vulnerable students.
- What strategies have been most responsible for the overall gains in attendance and high school graduation rates in New York City? How can schools ensure that these improvements continue?
- Why have disparities associated with neighborhood poverty proved so hard to address? To what extent are factors outside of school (such as homelessness) to blame for low outcomes? How can educators better support students who are facing these kinds of challenges?
- To what extent are differences in school quality and resources to blame for neighborhood-based disparities? How do racial and socioeconomic segregation shape NYC students’ educational opportunities, experiences, and outcomes? Will current efforts to reduce segregation help produce more equitable outcomes over time?
What else should we be asking about the links between neighborhood poverty and education outcomes? Let us know via email.
This post was authored by Chelsea Farley, Kayla Stewart, and James Kemple.