Schools can be a leading indicator of neighborhood change. School change often precedes and is more rapid than neighborhood change because families with children are a relatively mobile part of the population. Students also can exercise mobility by choosing private or religious schools or various open-enrollment options without changing residences.
The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (and its predecessors) has produced research analyzing:
- Segregation by race and income in America's schools;
- Fiscal stress in local school districts;
- Performance of charter schools;
- Relationships between school and neighborhood transition; and
- Public policies to reduce racial and income disparities in school/student performance.
This work has been utilized by a wide variety of local and state authorities to:
- Design pro-integrative attendance areas;
- Reform school finance/state aid systems;
- Design new ways to encourage inter-district cooperation to reduce racial and economic disparities; and
- Link housing policy to conditions in local schools.
These studies are broken into the following categories: