Essays on People, Place & Purpose

Investing in What Works for America's Communities

What Works News Round-Up – July 31, 2015

by Admin

In the News

Here is some of the latest poverty and community development news from this past week.

Washington Post Wonkblog (7/30/15) How Mass Incarceration Creates ‘Million Dollar Blocks’ in Poor Neighborhoods
What if we spent $2.2 million dollars not removing residents from the corner of West Madison and Cicero but investing in the people who live there? What if we spent that money on preschool and summer jobs programs and addiction treatment? Evidence suggests that such investments could do more to deter crime than locking people away.

National Journal (7/27/15) Where Parents Train While Their Kids Learn
The mission of Head Start programs is to prepare kids to succeed once they enter school. But the Parent Training program at Parents In Community Action (PICA), a parent-led nonprofit that operates nine early-childhood centers in Minneapolis, gives parents a solid footing in the local labor market. Their training focuses on five sectors: infant/toddler and preschool childhood development, transportation, food service, and clerical.

Urban Wire (7/27/15) Neighborhoods at the Top are Even More Likely to Stay There Than Those at the Bottom
A web of self-reinforcing policies and practices protect the position of top neighborhoods in their metropolitan areas. Many wealthier neighborhoods use zoning to keep apartments out and purchase open space to limit development further. In many states, they incorporate as separate municipalities to control school districts and tax rates.

The New York Times (7/24/15) Teaching Social Skills to Improve Grades and Lives
This year, researchers from Teachers College at Columbia University did some number crunching to estimate the economic value of six different social and emotional learning programs that had strong track records. They looked at the programs’ impact on things like future wages and social costs (pdf), and found that the programs yielded an average return of $11 for each dollar invested.

NPR (7/23/15) Why Disability and Poverty Still Go Hand in Hand 25 Years After Landmark Law
If you have a disability in the U.S., you’re twice as likely to be poor as someone without a disability. You’re also far more likely to be unemployed. And that gap has widened in the 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted.

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