Archive for 2008
Next Monday, November 17, I’ll be speaking at the Campaign for Educational Equity’s 2008 symposium, at Teachers College in New York City. I’m on at 9:20 a.m. or so, right after Gov. Paterson (on video), answering the question “What Will It Take?”
This Saturday, November 15, at 3 p.m., I’ll be a featured speaker at the Teach for America New York City Alumni Summit. I’m on a panel with Marian Wright Edelman and Donna Foote, discussing “The Role of Media in Informing our Public Consciousness.”
In the Guardian today, from London, an article about President-elect Obama’s campaign promises, and which ones he may choose to tackle first:
ON the corner of 125th Street and Madison Avenue at the heart of Harlem in New York stands an unusual building. It is the bright, modern, six-storey headquarters of the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), a unique community-building project that has transformed the lives of thousands of youngsters from one of America’s most historic – and most downtrodden – black neighbourhoods.
A few blocks away from Harlem landmarks such as the Apollo theatre and Sylvia’s soul food restaurant, the HCZ offers a compelling opportunity to examine one of Obama’s core election pledges.
In a campaign largely filled with blithe generalities, he made a promise that could scarcely have been more specific: “When I’m president, the first part of my plan to combat urban poverty will be to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone in 20 cities across the country,” he said on several occasions. “We will find the money to do this because we can’t afford not to.”
Focus on the early years: Even in this time of economic uncertainty, we need to make critical investments in pre-K and early childhood education.
In his recent book Whatever It Takes, New York Times Magazine editor Paul Tough notes that by age 3, children in low-income communities have been exposed to 20 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. By providing a language-rich learning environment at an early age, schools can offset this gap and give children the tools they need to succeed.
In today’s Jacksonville, Florida, Times-Union, an editorial about the Harlem Children’s Zone, Whatever It Takes and the city’s new “Success Zone”:
Late in the new book describing the Harlem Children’s Zone, Barack Obama is mentioned for the first time.
In July 2007, the future president of the United States gave a speech on urban poverty and held up the Harlem Children’s Zone as a model.
If elected, he would replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone in 20 cities.
Could Jacksonville leap ahead into that select group of cities? All the ingredients are there.
Many Chicago area educators are counting on the president-elect to make schools a top priority in the year ahead. One plan that Barack Obama cites as a model for the rest of the country, is the Harlem Children’s Zone. There, a man named Geoffrey Canada believes that to successfully educate students he must take a holistic approach focusing on the community where they live.
Author Paul Tough has just written a book called Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America. Tough sat down with Chicago Public Radio’s education desk editor Julia McEvoy to talk about what Chicago can learn from the Harlem experiment.
Eight Forty-Eight, WBEZ Chicago, November 6, 2008
Barack Obama, interviewed last weekend on MTV News:
“There is a great example, the Harlem Children’s Zone, a guy named Geoffrey Canada started this. It has a comprehensive approach to young people in that area, and you are starting to see graduation rates go up, college-attendance rates go up, reductions in terms of delinquency, so we can make progress on this stuff, but it takes sustained effort.”