Harlem Children's Zone Longitudinal Study

Prepared for
Harlem Children's Zone

By blanketing nearly 100 square blocks in Harlem with a pipeline of comprehensive, continuous services from birth through college, the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) seeks to foster healthy child development and academic achievement at every age.

This longitudinal study, which Mathematica began conducting in spring 2010, examines students’ outcomes and school experiences as they progress from early childhood programs through Promise Academy (PA) charter schools. The data collected provide insight on the developmental outcomes of participating students for HCZ’s Research and Evaluation Department. The study has also focused on the extent to which programs are implemented as intended, the extent and nature of family involvement, and the characteristics of students’ families and home environments. Current study components include surveys for students and student focus groups. In prior years, data sources have included a battery of direct assessments and teacher student report forms spanning several developmental domains, brief parent self-administered questionnaires (SAQs) focused primarily on aspects of family and home environments, and staff SAQs and focus groups describing aspects of program implementation.

The following research questions guide the longitudinal study:

Characteristics of students and families:

  1. What are the demographic characteristics of students?
  2. What are the home environments of students like?
  3. What are the naturally occurring patterns of participation in HCZ programs?
  4. How do students’ cognitive and behavioral outcomes compare to national norms?
  5. How do students perceive themselves, their abilities, and aspects of their school environments?

Group differences in outcomes:

  1. What are subgroup differences in students’ outcomes?

Student outcomes over time and predictors of outcomes:

  1. How do students’ outcomes change over time?
  2. What factors predict student and family outcomes?