Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Some recent links

– Geoffrey Canada visits the White House.

– Wicked Local Arlington does a stream-of-consciousness transcription of my talk (and a panel discussion) at the MassINC event in Boston.

– PostBourgie, an online “running, semi-orderly conversation about class and politics and media and gender and whatever else we can think of,” chooses Whatever It Takes as its Book of the Month.

– And a professor at Messiah College in Pennsylvania reviews Whatever It Takes from the homeschooling perspective.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Boston event


Here are more details on the MassINC event this Thursday in Boston.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Speech in Boston

On June 25, at 8:30 a.m., I’ll be giving the keynote address at an event at the Bank of America Auditorium in Boston organized by MassINC, a Massachusetts think tank. The event, which will include a panel discussion with Paul Reville, the state’s secretary of education, is to mark the publication of a new research report by MassINC on education reform in Massachusetts. Details, including how to RSVP, are here.

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

Boston Review review

From the May/June issue of the Boston Review, a long and thoughtful review by James Forman Jr. of “Whatever It Takes” and Jay Mathews’s book on KIPP, “Work Hard. Be Nice.”

My favorite section was on something that doesn’t get mentioned much in either book: segregation.

It says something important that the schools offered up as our best hopes are so completely segregated. It says even more that neither Tough nor Mathews feels the need to address the question of segregation in their books.

It is a tragedy that we have taken integration off the table. Perhaps I believe this because my parents—one black, one white—met in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and saw themselves as part of a struggle for an integrated, beloved community. Perhaps it is because I am still moved by Thurgood Marshall’s argument that our nation will only learn to live together when our children learn together. Or maybe it is because of my lingering fear that if poor kids are isolated in schools of their own, they will inevitably end up being shortchanged by a society content with massive wealth inequality. If we make schools better and improve the lives of some kids (or, in Canada’s case, a whole neighborhood) but do nothing to disrupt segregation, are we simply making separate a little more equal?

Despite these misgivings, I think I know how Canada, Feinberg, and Levin would defend their choice. I know it because, when I saw the terrible schools for jailed kids in D.C., I felt an obligation to help create a better alternative, even though I knew that almost every child in the school would be African-American and that most would be poor. I recognized the urgency of offering those kids the support and resources that no other program was going to provide. But I do not want to live in a society that accepts this situation as inevitable. And I am confident that Canada, Feinberg, and Levin do not, either.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

A Promise Neighborhood in Boston?

In the Boston Globe, an article about an effort to make Boston the site of one of President Obama’s new Promise Neighborhoods:

Today, a group of Boston nonprofit leaders – led by City Year’s Hubie Jones – will be touring the [Harlem Children’s Zone], as they launch a campaign to make the city one of Obama’s chosen sites. Obama is calling his endeavor “Promise Neighborhoods,” a nod to the program’s success in boosting student achievement and reducing hospitalization rates for children with asthma, among other feats.

“It’s time for Boston to think differently about how to deliver programs to these really distressed neighborhoods,” said Jones, who will be blogging from today’s tour as part of his effort to generate local interest. “If the Harlem Children’s Zone or something like it is a good idea for Boston to do, we ought to get ready for it or we will be passed over by the Obama administration.”

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Citizen Schools talk


Speaking about Whatever It Takes at the Citizen Schools midyear staff conference in Boston in January.