Daniela Fairchild's review of the study, however, has a misleading conclusion, suggesting that "Peers matter, and money does not."
The study's results indicate that placement in a low poverty school has greater benefits than placement in subsidized housing integrated in a low poverty neighborhood, but that both lead to academic gains for low income students.
Even this conclusion should be taken with a grain of salt. The study was done in a small, wealthy suburban setting, so it remains to be seen if the result are reproducible in other settings. Also, while the families studied were well below the poverty line, they earned considerably more than public housing families nationally.
Additionally, there was only a 14 day window once every 2 years to get on the waiting list for the integrated, subsidized housing and then families had to pass income eligibility and criminal background checks. This would reduce the chances for the most economical marginalized families who lack the time, resources, knowledge, self-confidence or perseverance to play the system and excluded them from the study.
Housing Policy is School Policy: Economically Integrative Housing Promotes Academic Success in Montgomery County, Maryland
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