Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘universities’

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


As I mentioned last month, I’m going to be speaking in Athens, Georgia, on Thursday, Dec. 2. According to a new press release from the University of Georgia College of Education:

Tough’s knowledge of Canada’s work should be of great local interest. In recent months, a new local initiative patterned after Canada’s work called “Whatever It Takes” ( was formed to address the poverty problem, by setting a goal that by July 1st, 2020 every child in Athens-Clarke County will be on track to graduate from some sort of post-secondary education.

There’s some anticipatory coverage of the talk in the Athens Banner-Herald. And on Beyond the Trestle, a local news and politics blog, there’s a pep talk from the good people at Avid Bookshop in Athens, who will be selling books at the event.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Johns Hopkins conference

On Dec. 3, I’ll be at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, giving a keynote speech at a conference on health disparities organized by Leadership Education in Adolescent Health, an interdisciplinary program at Johns Hopkins University. The theme of the conference is “Health and the Urban Family: Promoting Healthy Futures for Urban Youth.”

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Boise conference

On Nov. 19, I’ll be at Boise State University, giving a keynote address at the 2010 Early Years Conference, organized by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. There’s a brochure with details available for download here [PDF].

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Athens talk

On December 2, at 5:30 pm, I’ll be giving a talk in Athens, Georgia, at the University of Georgia chapel. Details here. The talk is connected to the city’s Whatever It Takes initiative, which was recently awarded a Promise Neighborhood planning grant. (I wrote about the Athens initiative — and embedded a video featuring Michael Stipe — back in July.)

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Education Review

In the September issue of Education Review, an online  journal, there’s a long review of Whatever It Takes by Rosalyn Taylor of Portland State University, who calls the book “perhaps the most vivid description of child poverty in urban America in recent years.” The review is available in PDF form only. You can find it on this page, or download it directly here [pdf].

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.

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.

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Speech in Irvine

Next Thursday, February 18, I’ll be giving the keynote address at “STEM Summit 2010: Early Childhood Through Higher Education,” a conference at the University of California in Irvine. There’s some background here, and an agenda here.

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.