Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Geoffrey Canada in Minneapolis

On Wednesday, Geoffrey Canada spoke to a crowd of 1,000 in Minneapolis about his work in Harlem. quoted Canada’s speech:

“This is the floor — not the ceiling — of what American kids should get,” Canada said. “Our concept is of a seamless web of supports around young people that goes with them throughout their developmental stages.

“What people mostly have done is create great early-childhood programs, and they don’t do anything after.  Or a great after-school program for elementary schools and then they go to lousy middle schools and there’s nothing in the high schools. You’ve got to connect these supports so you can leverage one investment into the next investment. … It takes time. It’s not going to happen in a year or two.”

And Joe Nathan, the director of the Center for School Change at the University of Minnesota, asks:

What drew a sustained standing ovation from more 1,000 Minnesotans last week? It was the remarkable efforts of Geoffrey Canada in the Harlem section of New York – and his skilled combination of research-based ideas for improving public education.

Canada has achieved considerable success in Harlem by using suggestions from both major philosophies about ways to significantly improve public education.

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