Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘TV’

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Geoffrey Canada’s Ancestors

Geoffrey Canada was the subject (along with Barbara Walters!) of Henry Louis Gates’s most recent “Finding Your Roots” program. Some amazing moments, including the will that valued Geoff’s great-great-grandfather, Thomas, a slave, at $250. Plus students at Promise Academy learning how much of their DNA ancestry traces to Africa.

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Geoffrey Canada’s celebrity took a weird turn this weekend, when he was briefly impersonated by Jay Pharaoh during a “What Up With That” sketch on Saturday Night Live. No lines, but some smoking dance moves. Fast-forward to 5:10 or so.

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Promise Neighborhood updates

There’s news from all over this month about efforts to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone. In Arkansas, the Central Little Rock Promise Neighborhood was one of 21 groups to receive a planning grant from the federal department of education. Julie Hall, one of the organizers, talked about her group’s plans on KTHV (video above). Meanwhile, the Chronicle of Philanthropy profiled another grant recipient, organized around the Cesar Chavez charter school in Washington, D.C., and the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a local organization that received a planning grant: Universal Companies, run by musician Kenny Gamble. (The Inquirer story led to this heated exchange of posts on Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post blog.)

There was also news recently about replication projects that didn’t win one of the 21 planning grants, like a project by the United Way of Lane County, Oregon, to start two pilot Promise Neighborhoods, and a coalition in St. Louis that is trying to bring a Zone to North St. Louis. And then there’s the initiative in Paterson, New Jersey, which is working directly with the Harlem Children’s Zone. As Governor Christie put it at an announcement with Geoffrey Canada in Trenton on Jan. 19:
“Over the coming weeks and months, we will work with Geoffrey and the Harlem Children’s Zone to put in place a program in Paterson that will emulate the success of Harlem Children’s Zone and give the children of Paterson a renewed sense of hope and opportunity.”

In a blog post on the Wall Street Journal’s web site, one expert was quoted sounding a skeptical note about the Paterson replication:

“We have an absolutely brutal track record of trying to replicate these things,” said Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Hess said Canada’s personal ties allowed him to take advantage of existing social programs, tie them together and raise money. … “There’s no harm in trying, but I think much more skepticism is necessary than has been the case,” he said of New Jersey’s new effort in Paterson.

More cause for concern about the future of Promise Neighborhoods came in this article in the Washington Post, in which Jim Shelton, the education department official (and former Gates Foundation executive) overseeing the Promise Neighborhood program, commented on the administration’s request to Congress for $210 million for this coming fiscal year, which had been reduced last year to $60 million by a House subcommittee and then to $20 million by a Senate subcommittee. (I wrote an op-ed in the New York Times last summer about the proposed cuts.) At the time, administration officials I spoke to sounded optimistic that much if not all of the funding would be restored, but in the Post article, Shelton

said that this year the administration probably will have only an additional $10 million for the Promise Neighborhood program and will request more money for the program again in 2012. “At a minimum, we could have a small-scale implementation, not nearly what we had anticipated,” Shelton said.

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Promise Academy Expansion

Gotham Schools reports that the Harlem Children’s Zone is in talks with the New York City Housing Authority to construct a new school building in the St. Nicholas housing project. The Promise Academy would expand into the new building:

HCZ and NYCHA officials are pitching the new building as a continuation of the Zone’s mission to integrate education and social services and connect an isolated housing development to the wider community. Residents of the Saint Nicholas Houses would also receive an admissions preference to the school, and officials said that residents would also receive a preference for an anticipated 100 jobs created by the new school.

There’s more coverage in the New York Post, in the Daily News, and on NY1.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

CNN Column

On CNN, Princeton professor Julian E. Zelizer writes about Promise Neighborhoods and the Harlem Children’s Zone:

Promise Neighborhoods is one of the most ambitious efforts in recent years to tackle the crisis of urban youth. Geoffrey Canada’s work should offer one area of policy where Democrats and Republicans can join to show to the world that the election of 2008 did indeed reflect a genuine desire to eliminate some of the roots of racial inequality that continue to shape our country.

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Canada Returns to Colbert

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Reverse Racism – Geoffrey Canada
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Mark Sanford

Geoffrey Canada was Stephen Colbert’s guest on the Colbert Report on Monday, talking about reverse racism and President Obama’s recent speech to the NAACP Centennial.

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Chattanooga TV report

Chattanooga’s CBS affiliate, WDEF, covered the Ochs Center’s public policy forum on early education. The video is here.

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Maine TV

From the NBC affiliate in Portland, a report on this week’s Child Welfare Conference at the University of Maine, with some footage (or inch-age) of my keynote address.

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

CNN on Harlem Children’s Zone

Soledad O’Brien reports for CNN on the Harlem Children’s Zone, including visits to Harlem Gems and Promise Academy, a clip from the Obama speech and cameos by Darryl Reeves and Darryl Reeves Jr., both of whom were featured in the Baby College chapter of Whatever It Takes.

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Promise Neighborhoods on ABC News

Geoff Canada speaks to ABC News reporter Teddy Davis about the Obama administration’s plans to create Promise Neighborhoods, based on the Harlem Children’s Zone:

An Education Department official working on Promise Neighborhoods for Obama has told me that the federal government will begin taking grant applications in 2010 with the goal of giving out implementation grants in 2011. What should the Obama administration look for in someone who wants to start a Promise Neighborhood?

“There are a couple principles that we think are very important. The first is that the entity that applies ought to have some demonstrated capacity to do a very complex kind of planning. The second is that there has to be the ability to raise private dollars over a sustained period of time because in the end you are doing something that is going to take years to really deliver the kind of results that I think the president wants and you’ve got to make sure that you’ve got the capacity to continue to support the federal dollars. The third thing is that the programs have to be committed to data and evaluation. Fourth, there has to be a really committed board or management structure to ensure that the dollars are appropriated and accounted for accurately.”