Friday, May 22, 2015

From our May 2015 issue: Accountability School Reform in Comparative Perspective

Accountability School Reform in Comparative Perspective

  1. Alan DiGaetano1
  1. 1City University of New York, New York, NY, USA
  1. Alan DiGaetano, Department of Political Science, Baruch College, City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY 10010, USA.


School reform politics in England and the United States over the last quarter century has revolved largely around the question of performance-based accountability. Accountability school reform in both countries has entailed standardization of curricula and assessment and the spread in the use of market mechanisms in school governance. To explain how these accountability reforms have retooled local governing institutions in ways that have reduced their autonomy and lessened their capacity to administer local school systems, this article applies the analytical framework of urban governing cycles to a comparative study of school reform politics in Bristol, England, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Authors' Blog: Housing and Household Instability

This is an author-produced blog post to introduce upcoming Urban Affairs Review articles. The Online First abstract can be found here

Housing and Household Instability

Authors: Matthew Desmond and Kristin L. Perkins
Harvard University
Research attempting to estimate the effects of residential instability on children and adolescents commonly overlooks other changes within households that may be coincident with—and potentially more consequential than—moving.  Because the research on residential instability focuses primarily on its effects on children and adolescents and long has emphasized how moving may weaken familial bonds, which in turn may be harmful to young people, it is particularly important to observe the frequency at which residential or housing instability is accompanied by family or household instability.  Because instabilities may cluster in time, documenting the extent to which residential instability is accompanied by other forms of instability can inform future efforts to estimate the effects of moving and improve our understanding of how residential instability may or may not drive social and health disparities. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In our May 2015 Issue

Table of Contents

May 2015; 51 (3)


Research Note

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Authors' Blog: Connecting Across the Divides of Race/Ethnicity: How Does Segregation Matter? - An Overview

This is an author-produced blog posts introduce upcoming Urban Affairs Review articles. The Online First abstract can be found here

Connecting Across the Divides of Race/Ethnicity: How Does Segregation Matter? - An Overview

Authors: Joseph Gibbons and Tse-Chuan Yang

         Joseph Gibbons                                              Tse-Chuan Yang

Community Connection and the problem of diversity?
            The recent wave of urban conflicts, like that seen in Baltimore, makes clear the need for continued discussion on urban racial disadvantage.  To this end, the connections one has with their neighbors and a neighborhood itself, community connection, is a key venue with which to focus.  Research has shown that poor community connection leads to variety of social ills, such as higher crime and poorer health.  There exists an active discussion in city research as the effects racial/ethnic composition of one's neighborhood have onto their community connection. A long enduring belief is that racially diverse communities lack strong community connection due to inability of different community members to establish common ground.  As Robert Putnam once put it, people in these communities 'hunker down', avoiding close connections with those nearby.  However, there are raising doubts as to whether this dour assessment captures the full scope of how race impacts community connection.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Online First: NYC 311 A Tract-Level Analysis of Citizen–Government Contacting in New York City

NYC 311

A Tract-Level Analysis of Citizen–Government Contacting in New York City

  1. Scott L. Minkoff1
  1. 1Barnard College, New York, NY, USA
  1. Scott L. Minkoff, Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA.


311 is a telephone and web service that allows residents of many cities to report nonemergency concerns and problems with city services to their local government. This article explores the Census-tract-level variation in 311 contacting volume within New York City. Drawing on previous research on citizen–government interaction, service delivery, and civic engagement, the article focuses on how contacting propensity and condition both explain spatial variations in contacting volume. These explanations are tested using indicators that describe the people who live and work in the space, the housing in the space, the economic development of the space, and the space’s representation in city government. 311 contacting is divided into three categories (government-provided goods, graffiti, and noise) that are separately analyzed using regression models that account for spatial and serial dependence. The article also discusses the theoretical and methodological challenges of using 311 data to understand the distribution of problems within a city.