University of Southern California study: Rich parents give kids the gift a great neighborhood which impacts their lives favorably

11 May

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Emily Badger of the Washington Post wrote in The one thing rich parents do for their kids that makes all the difference:

Wealthy parents are famously pouring more and more into their children, widening the gap in who has access to piano lessons and math tutors and French language camp. The biggest investment the rich can make in their kids, though — one with equally profound consequences for the poor — has less to do with “enrichment” than real estate.

They can buy their children pricey homes in nice neighborhoods with good school districts.

“Forty to fifty years of social-science research tells us what an important context neighborhoods are, so buying a neighborhood is probably one of the most important things you can do for your kid,” says Ann Owens, a sociologist at the University of Southern California. “There’s mixed evidence on whether buying all this other stuff matters, to0. But buying a neighborhood basically provides huge advantages.”

Owens’s latest research, published in the American Sociological Review, suggests that wealthy parents snapping up such homes have driven the rise of income segregation in America since 1990. The rich and non-rich are less and less likely to share the same neighborhoods in the United States, a trend shaped more by the behavior of the wealthy than the poor or middle class. Owens’s work, though, adds another twist: The recent rise of income segregation, she finds, is almost entirely caused by what’s happening among families with children.

Since 1990, income segregation hasn’t actually changed much among households without kids. That’s two-thirds of the population.

“Yes income segregation is rising,” Owens says, “but this is really a story about kids.”

Children aren’t evenly distributed across communities. You’re more likely to find them in, say, the suburbs of Fairfax County than in Chinatown in the District. So the environments they and their families occupy don’t necessarily reflect the experience of the typical American household. Along a number of divides, whether by race or poverty levels, children tend to live with more segregation than the population at large…

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/05/10/the-incredible-impact-of-rich-parents-fighting-to-live-by-the-very-best-schools/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_wb-richparents-7am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

See, Families with kids increasingly live near families just like them  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427080716.htm

Citation:

Families with kids increasingly live near families just like them

Date:       April 27, 2016

Source:   American Sociological Association

Summary:

Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ann Owens. Inequality in Children’s Contexts: Income Segregation of Households with and without Children. American Sociological Review, April 2016 DOI: 10.1177/0003122416642430 

Inequality in Children’s Contexts

Income Segregation of Households with and without Children

  1. Ann Owensa

1.     aUniversity of Southern California

  1. Ann Owens, Department of Sociology, University of Southern California, 851 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089 E-mail: annowens@usc.edu

Abstract

Past research shows that income segregation between neighborhoods increased over the past several decades. In this article, I reexamine income segregation from 1990 to 2010 in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, and I find that income segregation increased only among families with children. Among childless households—two-thirds of the population—income segregation changed little and is half as large as among households with children. I examine two factors that may account for these differences by household composition. First, I find that increasing income inequality, identified by past research as a driver of income segregation, was a much more powerful predictor of income segregation among families with children, among whom income inequality has risen more. Second, I find that local school options, delineated by school district boundaries, contribute to higher segregation among households with children compared to households without. Rising income inequality provided high-income households more resources, and parents used these resources to purchase housing in particular neighborhoods, with residential decisions structured, in part, by school district boundaries. Overall, results indicate that children face greater and increasing stratification in neighborhood contexts than do all residents, and this has implications for growing inequalities in their future outcomes.

Here is the press release from the University  of Southern California:

Families with kids increasingly live near families like them

Sociologist Ann Owens has found that school districts are an important factor in where families with children choose to live, giving rise to increased neighborhood segregation.

By Emily Gersema – May 10, 2016

A new USC study finds that children in LA County are growing up more economically segregated than 20 years ago.

Neighborhoods are becoming less diverse and more segregated by income — but only among families with children, a new study has found.

Study author Ann Owens, an assistant professor of sociology, examined census data from 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas, from Los Angeles to Boston. She found that, among families with children, neighborhood income segregation is driven by increased income inequality in combination with a previously overlooked factor: school district options.

For families with high income, school districts are a top consideration when deciding where they will live, Owens said. And for those in large cities, they have multiple school districts where they could choose to buy homes.

Income segregation between neighborhoods rose 20 percent from 1990-2010, and income segregation between neighborhoods was nearly twice as high among households that have children compared to those without.

For childless families, schools are not a priority for selecting a home, which, Owens said, likely explains the reason that they did not see a rise in the income gap or in neighborhood segregation.

“Income inequality has an effect only half as large among childless folks,” said Owens, whose study was published online on April 27 by the American Sociological Review. “This implies that parents who have children see extra money as a chance to buy a home in a good neighborhood so that their kids may attend a good school.”

She said the increased neighborhood income segregation that her study uncovered is a troubling sign for low-income families. Studies have shown that integrated learning environments are beneficial for children of disadvantaged households, and do no harm to children whose families have higher incomes.

“The growing income gap and increased economic segregation may lead to inequalities in children’s test scores, educational attainment, and well-being,” Owens said. “Neighborhood and school poverty are big drivers of low-income kids’ poor educational outcomes, so rising income segregation perpetuates inequality and may reduce poor kids’ mobility.”

Since the No Child Left Behind Act went into effect in 2002, more data than ever have been made available on schools, the quality of their teachers and their student achievement. It has given rise to a sense of competition and rankings. Owens said this increased focus on performance, plus having access to more information about schools, may have made school an even greater priority for parents.

Policymakers have been trying to address economic inequities through proposals such as wage increases, but based on the trend Owens found, they may have another option.

“If schools play an important role in residential segregation, then breaking that link and making it less important and sort of alleviating parents’ concerns about where their kids are going to attend school would reduce income segregation,” Owens said.

She recommended that educational leaders should consider redrawing boundaries to reduce the number and fragmentation of school districts in major metropolitan areas. They also should consider designing inter-district choice plans and strengthening current plans within districts to address inequities.

Changing school attendance policies could be “more feasible than reducing income inequality, raising the minimum wage, instituting metropolitan governance, or creating affordable housing stock to address residential segregation,” Owens wrote.

Many researchers have argued that housing policy can drive education policy, but Owens wrote: “School policy can also be housing policy.”

The study was funded by a grant (AE00101) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

categories: faculty research, diversity

topics: ann owens, diversity, neighborhood segregation, publication, social sciences, sociology

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the country and there must be good schools in all parts of this society. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

The lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This society cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century.

Related:

Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/11/micheal-pettrillis-decision-an-ed-reformer-confronts-race-and-class-when-choosing-a-school-for-his-kids/

The role economic class plays in college success

https://drwilda.com/2012/12/22/the-role-economic-class-plays-in-college-success/

The ‘school-to-prison pipeline

https://drwilda.com/2012/11/27/the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Trying not to raise a bumper crop of morons: Hong Kong’s ‘tutor kings and queens’
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/26/trying-not-to-raise-a-bumper-crop-of-morons-hong-kongs-tutor-kings-and-queens/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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