The New York Times: A better address can change a child’s future

The New York Times, August 3, 2019: A better address can change a child’s future

Rath, 38, was the third generation in her family to endure a traumatized childhood that led to poverty, and now she is a single mom with six children of her own who might also be at risk. But she is part of an experiment unfolding in and around Seattle that shows immense promise in breaking cycles of poverty so that her youngest daughter, Amina, 2, can have the wind at her back.

For all those who think that poverty is hopeless, that nothing can change — read on! The experiment is deceptively simple and cheap: it helps families move to neighborhoods with a proven record of helping kids do better. A major research study about the experiment, co-written by Prof. Raj Chetty of Harvard, has just been published by Opportunity Insights of Harvard.

Early word of the results has provoked a nationwide stir among Democrats and Republicans alike, and 21 cities across America are already working to start similar programs. Anti-poverty work is sometimes seen as bleak, but these findings are thrilling.

 

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