Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

RSA Journal article

In the Winter issue of the RSA Journal, published by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, in London, an article by James Forman, Jr., about Promise Neighborhoods, the Harlem Children’s Zone, and “Whatever It Takes.” Forman, a law professor at Georgetown and NYU, reviewed “Whatever It Takes” for the Boston Review last year. From the RSA Journal article:

HCZ occupies an unusual place on the ideological spectrum, one that allows it to appeal to both sides of divisive social policy debates. Consider one example. If poor people are to improve their lives, should they change their behaviours or should society do more for them? Instead of choosing a side, HCZ’s model says that the answer is both. Drawing on decades of research showing that certain middle-class parenting techniques prepare children to navigate school and the world, HCZ teaches those techniques to Harlem parents. At the same time, it recognises that parental skills are only part of the puzzle. After all, poor parents already know what to do when their child says: “My tooth hurts”; the American scandal is that many parents cannot afford to take their children to a dentist. In response, HCZ provides medical and dental care for families that need it.

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