Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Blog roundup

Recent blog posts on “Whatever It Takes” from a reference librarian in Perrysburg, Ohio; a student at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock; a Microsoft executive in Seattle; and an early-childhood specialist in Chicago, who posted her reflections on the panel discussion I was a part of at Loyola University Law School in February:

I also think that there are many, many people in non-profits who are tired of business-as-usual, tired of feeling like their work is a drop in the ocean, tired of talking themselves into believing in what they do every day.  Some of those people must have been in the audience that night, looking for a thicker strand of hope to pull on.

From what I’ve read, hope is much of what Geoffrey Canada’s concept is riding on now: hope with an almost desperate promise of metrics, if we could all be patient for a while.  And many of us are willing to be patient, because we believe as we have believed for years, that he’s making it happen – he’s doing it.  He’s doing what we thought should be done all along: comprehensive services, for all stages of childhood, supportive of the family and community as well as the child.  This is the silent promise we’ve been imagining, and Canada actually managed to speak the promise out loud.

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Loyola talk

From the Loyola Law School web site, a report on last week’s event:

The forum, which included a keynote address by author and former New York Times magazine editor Paul Tough (pictured left), explored the The Harlem Children’s Zone approach to inner city education, as well as addressed the recent plans by the Obama administration to offer new funding to replicate twenty “Promise Neighborhoods” throughout the country. …

Tough and the panel of Chicago experts discussed the potential impact of a Promise Neighborhood in Chicago, how to improve on the HCZ model, as well as addressed issues that distinguish Chicago from Harlem and other communities seeking to create a “Children’s Zone.” Expert panelists included Loyola law alumnus Azim Ramelize, Chicago Dept. of Children and Youth Services; Chris Brown, Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Dr. Bradley Stolbach, La Rabida Children’s Hospital; and Barbara Bowman, Chief Officer, Early Education, Chicago Public Schools.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

WBEZ interview

Rob Wildeboer, a criminal-justice reporter for WBEZ radio in Chicago, hosted the panel discussion that followed my speech at Loyola University Law School last week. Before the event, Rob and I sat down in the WBEZ studio for an interview about the Harlem Children’s Zone and Promise Neighborhoods. The interview aired on Friday as part of the local “All Things Considered” broadcast. Here’s the audio.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Speech at Loyola

On Thursday, February 25, at 3:30 p.m., I’ll be speaking at Loyola University in Chicago, along with a panel of local leaders interested in bringing a Promise Neighborhood to Chicago. RSVPs are recommended. Details are here.

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Chicago Promise Neighborhoods

From Catalyst Chicago’s Notebook blog, an interesting post about three separate coalitions in the city that may be applying for a Promise Neighborhood planning grant:

Three Chicago neighborhoods – Woodlawn, Logan Square, and Chicago Lawn – are competing for a slice of one President Barack Obama’s more ambitious education-related initiatives: Replication of the Harlem Children’s Zone in 20 spots around the country. …

Local organizers know that their budgets won’t be as large as the Harlem Zone’s, which has a $68 million-per-year price tag. Still, their plans are ambitious. The groups are beginning to focus in on specific areas, such as early education, parent involvement and creating a climate for success in the neighborhood’s schools.

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

An update from Chicago

In today’s Chicago Tribune, a report on the Harlem Children’s Zone and a round-up of local efforts to replicate the project through the federal government’s Promise Neighborhood initiative:

Leaders in at least three Chicago neighborhoods — Woodlawn, Logan Square and Chicago Lawn — plan to apply [for a Promise Neighborhood grant].

Bishop Arthur Brazier, longtime head of The Woodlawn Organization, is working with University of Chicago officials to craft a plan for the neighborhood. The city’s education and crime woes call for a bold, comprehensive strategy, he said.

“You can’t deal with these problems with a $25,000 untested program here, and a $30,000 program over there,” said Brazier, referring to past efforts in Woodlawn. “We’ve been programmed out, and we still have the same problems. We need a communitywide effort that includes the schools, the police, the hospitals, the politicians, the universities all working together.”

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Promise Neighborhood Conference

This week, the Harlem Children’s Zone presented Changing the Odds: Learning from the Harlem Children’s Zone Model, a conference attended by 1,400 people from around the country who came to New York in delegations to learn more about the Zone and about Promise Neighborhoods. Several officials in the Obama administration spoke at the conference, providing new details about the Promise Neighborhood initiative, including Arne Duncan, the education secretary; Melody Barnes, the director of the president’s Domestic Policy Council; Adolfo Carrion, the special assistant to the president for urban affairs; Heather Higginbottom, the deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council; and Jim Shelton, the assistant deputy secretary of education for innovation and improvement.

In anticipation of the conference, there was local newspaper coverage in San Bernadino, whose conference delegation included Mayor Pat Morris; in Chicago, which sent delegations from three different neighborhoods; in Springfield, Mass., where Geoffrey Canada spoke last week (and I spoke three weeks ago); and in Columbia, South Carolina, where a local group is working on a Zone in the Eau Claire neighborhood.

In Baltimore, a local paper called the Urbanite had a long, detailed article about the various plans in that city for Zone replication projects:

There are at least four Promise Neighborhood proposals in the works: The mayor’s office has been working on one in Park Heights; the nonprofit Living Classrooms is involved with another; and the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins are each pushing proposals as well.

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Promise Neighborhood news

As preparations continue for the Harlem Children Zone’s November conference on replicating the HCZ model, news from New York City and Chicago on plans to apply for President Obama’s proposed Promise Neighborhood program.

According to NY1, Mayor Bloomberg, speaking at a charter-school anniversary in Harlem, announced that his administration is “pushing to use part of President Barack Obama’s ‘Promise Neighborhoods’ funds for the creation of two new Children’s Zones, one in Brooklyn and one in the South Bronx.”

Meanwhile, Catalyst Notebook, a Chicago schools blog, reports that

Three Chicago neighborhoods are taking the first steps toward potential replication of the Harlem Children’s Zone, the highly-praised program that provides education and social support to poor children and families in Central Harlem.

Representatives from social service agencies in Chicago Lawn, Logan Square and Woodlawn will travel to New York City in the coming weeks to attend a multi-day conference and a ‘practitioner’s institute’ for organizations that are interested in launching Promise Neighborhoods, an initiative of the Obama Administration modeled on the Children’s Zone.

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.

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Signing books in Chicago

Signing copies of Whatever It Takes in Chicago in January, after speaking at the Chicago School Policy Luncheon.