What Works News Round-Up – May 15, 2015
In the News
Here is some of the latest poverty and community development news from this past week.
Washington Post Wonkblog (5/13/15) Mapped: The Places Where Most Public School Children are Poor
Earlier this year, the Southern Education Foundation reported that America’s public schools had reached a dispiriting milestone: A majority of children attending them are now low-income. This picture of poverty in the classroom, however, varies widely across the country, between North and South, and between urban counties and nearby suburban ones.
The New York Times (5/11/15) Smart Social Programs
A body of research on the long-term effects of high-quality preschool programs and other early-childhood interventions, like home visits by health professionals, consistently finds that they improve a range of adult outcomes, from higher earnings to reduced crime rates. Other research has found that Head Start achieves similar results.
PBS NewsHour (5/9/15) Can ‘Neighborhoods of Last Resort’ Be Lifted Out of Poverty?
How to turn around areas of concentrated poverty has been a question American cities have long grappled with. But experts like Pendall point to another neighborhood, about six miles away on the east side of Atlanta. East Lake has become a model for one type of approach, supported by America’s second richest person, investor Warren Buffett.
The Upshot (NY Times Blog) (5/8/15) Giving the Poor Easy Access to Healthy Food Doesn’t Mean They’ll Buy It
It seems intuitive that a lack of nearby healthy food can contribute to a poor diet. But merely adding a grocery store to a poor neighborhood, it appears, doesn’t make a very big difference. The cost of food — and people’s habits of shopping and eating — appear to be much more powerful than just convenience.
The Washington Post (5/4/15) Baltimore Riots Put Obama Strategy for U.S. Cities Under Closer Scrutiny
Amid a nationwide urban renaissance, poverty and inequality are dire. Baltimore’s worst neighborhoods are as bad as they’ve ever been, with yawning gaps in life expectancy, high school graduation rates, income, employment, incarceration and housing between them and more affluent areas a short distance away.
Forbes (4/28/15) Why Baltimore Burned
About a quarter of Baltimore residents live below the poverty line. The unemployment rate in zip code 21217, where the riots broke out on Monday, was 19.1% in 2011. Less than 60% of Baltimore’s high school students graduate, the worst mark in the state — by far. Taken together, these disparities illustrate what poverty’s like in big-city America. And the effects are brutally obvious in Baltimore’s health care statistics.