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 children’s outcomes and school experiences as they progress from early childhood programs and through Promise Academy (PA) charter schools and HCZ collaborative classrooms. The data collected provide insight on the developmental outcomes of participating children, as well as information about their families and home environments for HCZ’s Research and Evaluation Department. The study has also focused on how well the programs are being implemented and the extent and nature of family involvement. Study components include a battery of direct assessments and teacher-student report forms spanning several developmental domains, as well as surveys for students. In prior years, it has also included brief parent self-administered questionnaires (SAQs) and staff SAQs and focus groups. Mathematica is using technological innovations in data collection, including computer-assisted assessments of the study children, to facilitate the accuracy of the data collected.

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?
  2. How do the home environments and outcomes of students at PA and in HCZ collaborative classrooms compare?

Student outcomes over time and predictors of outcomes:

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