Do Declining Neighborhood Economic Conditions Trump Hoped for School Renovation Renewal Benefit?


The purpose of this study was to determine 1) individual student achievement, 2) teacher mobility rates, 3) perceptions of safety at school, and 4) student enrollment patterns, over time, in two recently renovated, same city, urban, No Child Left Behind compliant, Title I elementary school buildings located in close proximity neighborhoods one with improving the other with declining economic conditions. Achievement results indicated that fifth-grade students (n = 18) who attended a renovated school second-grade through fifth-grade in a neighborhood with improving economic conditions compared to fifth-grade students (n = 15) who attended a renovated school second-grade through fifth-grade in a neighborhood with declining economic conditions had statistically greater high stakes Reading Total and Math Total but not Language Total achievement test score improvement frequencies over time and statistically greater posttest-posttest Normal Curve Equivalent high stakes achievement test score comparisons for Reading Total, Math Total, and Language Total. Differing neighborhood economic conditions had no statistical effect on reported teacher, student, and parent perceptions of school safety or teacher mobility rates, however, enrollment in the renovated school in the neighborhood with declining economic conditions dropped significantly. We conclude that declining neighborhood economic conditions trumped hoped for school renovation renewal benefit. School closing policy and student open enrollment transfer options are discussed.

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Grice, C. , Hill, J. & Hayes, K. (2012). Do Declining Neighborhood Economic Conditions Trump Hoped for School Renovation Renewal Benefit?. Advances in Applied Sociology, 2, 102-110. doi: 10.4236/aasoci.2012.22014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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