Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Arne Duncan

In a new interview in Chicago magazine, Arne Duncan, Barack Obama’s secretary of education, takes a stand for replicating the Harlem Children’s Zone:

Q: Have you read Whatever It Takes, the new book about Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone? I bring it up because that project, which tries to catch kids from birth and guide them all the way to college, suggests that it may be necessary in certain communities for the neighborhood school to take on functions that lie traditionally in the realm of social services.
Geoff Canada’s a good, good friend of mine. I’m actually meeting with him Monday.

Q: Obviously you’re familiar with what he’s doing.
Yes. I’m going to create 20 Harlem Children’s Zones around the country. I am.

Q: Really? Do you think you’ll face opposition to the federal role expanding in that way?
I don’t care. I’m going to fund it.

2 comments on “Arne Duncan

  1. Joy says:

    Dear Paul Tough,
    I just finished reading your book Whatever it takes. Great inspiration…a story very well told. I am a Graduate student currently doing research on parent education models. I am interested in the Harlem Children Zone but unfortunately not been able to find any studies or even self evaluations of the model to give weight to my arguments on its success as a model. Can you help me with this or refer me to research that can help?

  2. Paul Tough says:

    Hi Joy. Thanks for reading Whatever It Takes, and thanks for writing. There aren’t any complete longitudinal studies that fully document the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone — it’s still too new. But here are a couple of links that might help.

    Here are some general stats from the HCZ site.

    And here is the most recent report card for the Promise Academy.

    Also, Roland Fryer, an economist at Harvard, is working on a paper on the HCZ’s results. This page should have a link to the paper when it’s completed.

    – Paul Tough

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