What Happens to Public Schools When Neighborhoods Gentrify?

What is the effect on urban neighborhood schools when a critical mass of well-educated, well-off people move in? That’s a topic The Atlantic tackled last week, citing a variety of news articles around the country.

Unfortunately, in many neighborhoods around the country, gentrification, it turns out, usually stops at the schoolhouse door, according to the article “When Neighborhoods Gentrify, Why Aren’t Their Public Schools Improving?” Because newcomers tend to send their kids outside of the local system, often to private or charter schools, gentrification tends to have a neutral or even negative effect on neighborhood schools, at least in the short term, the article states.

When local governments prioritize better-integrated schools for everyone, all students benefit. Hartford, Connecticut, is one example where strong urban magnet schools attract students from outside the city. Nearly half of Hartford’s students now benefit from integrated K-12 education. “How exactly did Hartford do it? The city persuaded patrons to buy in,” the article explains. “It wooed children of diverse backgrounds. And instead of having students learn science through worksheets, the city gave students access to a planetarium, an outdoor garden, a butterfly vivarium, a trout pond, and a LEGO lab.”

ACS understands the value of a high-quality public education for all students. Through our work, we help local communities improve their public K-12 education systems in ways that work for them. ACS strives to support students from all backgrounds so all students can love learning, be inspired to graduate high school, pursue a career, and improve their futures.

Want to know hear about ACS’s K-12 education work? Click on our testimonial from one of our K-12 clients.



Return to Latest News