Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Jill Khadduri, an authority on the relationship between neighborhood revitalization and school quality, appeared on March 17 before the House Committee on Financial Services in Washington, D.C. to discuss the role of school improvement in the proposed Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Khadduri was one of a panel of seven witnesses.
Choice Neighborhoods is the Obama administration's proposal to revitalize severely distressed public and assisted housing. It will replace the HOPE VI revitalization program and challenges public, private and nonprofit partners to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public housing and to link housing interventions more closely with school reform and early childhood programs. In doing so it recognizes that a major contributor to the cycle of poverty is the poor quality of the schools available to children who live in high-poverty neighborhoods.
In her prepared testimony Khadduri said that the current legislative proposal has many strengths but argued that it could be improved in several ways. For example:
In her concluding remarks Khadduri noted that the draft legislation asks HUD to report each year on the impact of grants made under the Act. She argued that such impacts cannot be measured in the early years of a major effort to change a neighborhood. Instead, HUD should be required to document how grantees have demonstrated the neighborhood's potential for long-term viability. She also called for a true evaluation of the program with collection of baseline and follow-up data measuring change in the Choice Neighborhood and comparison neighborhoods.
Click here for a PDF of the prepared testimony. For an archived webcast of the hearing, visit the House Committee on Financial Services website.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.