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.
A: 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.
A: 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?
A: I don’t care. I’m going to fund it.