Wolf: Children from poor neighborhoods are less likely to be ready for school

August 17, 2017

As the income gap in America continues to grow, more families are living in neighborhoods with high concentrations of poverty. Children growing up in those neighborhoods are less likely to be academically ready to start kindergarten, Penn GSE’s Sharon Wolf recently told Education Week.

Sharon Wolf, Penn GSE
Dr. Sharon Wolf
Children in these poor neighborhoods are more likely to be academically behind even if their family is not poor, according to a new study by Wolf published this summer in Children and Youth Services Review.

“These results are worrying because we found that these children who live in poor neighborhoods regardless of their family's poverty status start school almost a year behind in terms of academic skills compared to children in low-poverty neighborhoods,” Wolf told Education Week

Wolf suggests that policies supporting poor families should also consider neighborhood disadvantage because “it's pretty clear that neighborhood disadvantage does create burden on families beyond their own individual circumstances.”