Partnerships between public housing agencies (PHAs), schools and other stakeholders have shown that collaboration really can improve educational outcomes for children living in public housing. You'll see some very straightforward examples below that illustrate how working together and using data effectively is helping children succeed.
In its Data Sharing Road Map released earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers practical guidance and best practices for establishing partnerships between school districts and public housing agencies. It also emphasizes the importance of privacy safeguards and transparency when sharing data.
It's easy to see why HUD is encouraging more collaborative efforts between PHAs and school districts when you consider examples of what can be achieved. Here are two case studies highlighted in the roadmap:
- Problem: An analysis in one city found that 53% of the students residing in four of the public housing buildings run by the PHA were chronically absent.
- Strategy: The PHA, the city, and a group of community stakeholders partnered to implement a set of comprehensive student and parent outreach strategies targeted at the four public housing buildings with the 53% chronic absenteeism rate. The partnership was able to track the absenteeism rate over time and show that within four years it had dropped 14% points to 39%.
- Problem: An analysis of elementary school educational outcomes identified math proficiency as the indicator showing the highest academic achievement gap for students living within public housing.
- Strategy: Stakeholders piloted a change to one of the PHA’s after school programs. The non-profit that runs the after school program hired a math tutor, as well as several high school– age residents with high achievement in math, to tutor elementary-age residents two days a week after school. In addition, the local elementary schools provided the after school program with a summary of math lesson plans each month.
By building partnerships with local school districts and other sources of school performance data, the roadmap states, PHAs can gain access to valuable data that will help them tailor efforts to maximize impacts on student achievement.
This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.
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