The Gentrification Myth

There is at least on perception in CPS that seems worth debunking, and that's the myth that schools are always instantly or quickly improved when neighorhoods gentrify.  I don't think that's really always as true as many think - especially since not all of the schools in gentrifying neighborhoods are all that good. 

In fact, at least some of the time gentrification destabilizes a school, making it worse for at least a period of time after the neighborhood has "gotten better."  Maybe things get better over a decade or so, but in the short term these schools lose students, become overflow schools with fewer kids who walk, and the newfound safety and affluence of the surrounding streets largely bypasses the school. 

Or at least, that's how it seems to me.  What do you think?

Filed under: Communities & CBOs


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  • Agassiz(westlakeview) is another school that had lower enrollment due to gentrification. Now Agassiz and Talcott are on the upswing both have a good fine arts program and visionary principals. Both schools are Hispanic and black with a small caucasion population. These schools are good because of the leaders. Teachers like to teach at these schools.

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