I have a new article up at The Chicago Bureau. Key map:


Key points:

1. The prediction that school gentrification would follow neighborhood gentrification is being played out dramatically on the North Side right now.

2. Because there is such a strong correlation between school demographics and test scores, these gentrified elementary schools are now doing reliably better than all non-test-in schools in the city–much better, for example, than top charters. (More on that in a future article.)

3. The creation of perhaps the most important middle-class amenity–high-performing schools–in the central city will pull even more middle-class and upper-middle-class people to the relevant neighborhoods.

4. Because housing policy restricts market supply, and Chicago doesn’t have a large number of subsidized or public housing units on the North Side, home prices within gentrified-school attendance areas will rise (are rising) so as to price out even more of the working class and poor.

5. Income segregation in schools is being recreated within the CPS district, divided now by attendance boundaries instead of suburb-city borders.

6. Theoretically, there are things CPS could do about this–more, anyway, than it could do about the existence of middle-class families outside its borders–but it’s very unclear what would work, and what would be possible politically.