Feasibility Study for an Impact Evaluation of Promise Neighborhoods

Prepared for
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation
Placed-based initiatives—efforts to coordinate various long-term support services in localized areas—are increasingly being used as a potential solution for improving the educational outcomes of children in distressed neighborhoods. One such initiative is the Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods placed-based program. Modelled on the notable Harlem Children’s Zone project, organizations in over 50 neighborhoods across the United States have received Promise Neighborhoods grants. Grantees coordinate a mix of support services ranging from Pre-K to pre-college preparation to community and family programs designed to improve general well-being. Despite the growth of these programs, evidence of their effectiveness is sparse. Mathematica will explore the most policy-relevant questions that can be answered in a national impact study of the Promise Neighborhoods program and lay out the design options for carrying out such a study.