Contextual Features, Civic and Organizational Capacity, and the Promise of Federal and Local Support
Alexandra Cooperstock1
1Cornell University
There is evidence of a substantial place-based turn in federal policymaking in the United States over the past quarter century. The largest federal place-based education policy is the U.S. Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods program. I create a novel database of Promise Neighborhood geographies and features, including target census tracts and school sites. By analyzing the descriptive demographic, economic, and social features of successfully funded and rejected Promise Neighborhoods, I aim to explore whether these awards are targeting the most disadvantaged schools and neighborhoods, or if specific contextual features and other indicators of civic and organizational capacity places some applicants at an advantage. Because place-based policies have the potential to transform neighborhood conditions, in both favorable and unfavorable ways, they have important implications for durable spatial inequalities in the U.S. that are partly the result of policy action or inaction and are congruent with academic achievement gaps.