Posts Tagged ‘Washington’
As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be giving a talk and speaking on a panel this Thursday at Georgetown University, at an event hosted by Georgetown and the Cesar Chavez Schools. I’ll be talking about character education and academic achievement.
There’s now a bit more information on the talk posted here.
There was news about the D.C. Promise Neighborhood initiative in two Washington newspapers last week. The Washington City Paper reported on the groundbreaking for a new early-childhood center in the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood in D.C.’s Ward 7, adding,
the Educare building, as it’s known, is much more than a school. It’s also the first piece of a federally-funded plan to replicate the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone in Manhattan, using a model of integrated educational and social services to transform a kid’s whole environment, not just the time they spend in a classroom.
The Washington Post added that the effort was
spearheaded by Irasema Salcido, the charismatic educator who founded the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy in the community, but its unusual strength lies in the 70 nonprofits, businesses, churches, foundations and resident associations that have signed on. In a refreshing partnership, two traditional public schools, Kenilworth and Neval Thomas elementary schools, have joined the coalition with their charter neighbor.
Next week, I’ll be visiting the Cesar Chavez schools and giving a speech at Georgetown University about character development and student achievement — and how those topics relate to the Promise Neighborhood initiative.
On March 31, I’ll be giving a keynote address as part of an event about “Character Development and Student Achievement” sponsored by Georgetown University and the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy. (Georgetown and Chavez are working together to create a Promise Neighborhood in D.C.’s Ward 7.) There will be a panel discussion following my talk, with Kaya Henderson, the interim chancellor of the D.C. public schools; Jim Shelton, the official in charge of the education department’s innovation initiatives; Irasema Salcido, the founder of the Chavez schools; and Tim King, the founder of the Urban Prep charter schools in Chicago.
For more information, contact Norma Barfield with the Chavez Schools, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, Feb. 12, I’ll be at the Teach For America 20th anniversary summit in Washington, D.C., moderating a panel on interventions to close the achievement gap that go beyond the classroom. Joining me will be Larkin Tackett, who is helping to oversee the Promise Neighborhood program for the department of education; Debbie Gonzalez, the senior manager of preventive programs for the Harlem Children’s Zone; Diana Rauner, the president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund; David Williams, the Chicago regional director for Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.; and Irasema Salcido, the founder and CEO of Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Here’s how the conference web site describes what we’ll be talking about:
Everyone agrees that education plays a critical role in eradicating poverty, but is it enough? How critical are other poverty-focused interventions to improving student outcomes? In this panel, practitioners will discuss which services have the greatest impact on poverty in their communities and what they’re doing to address the needs of low-income children and families.
“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.
On the blog Organized Chaos, a teacher at a school outside of D.C. reflects on the movie “Waiting for ‘Superman.’” I thought her critique was smart and interesting, and I especially appreciated these thoughts on the movie’s portrayal of the Harlem Children’s Zone:
Another area where I think it simplified its facts was with the Harlem Children’s Zone. I idolize Geoffrey Canada of Harlem Children’s Zone and want to be him when I grow up. I could watch an entire movie on his schools and still want to know more about his programs. He is profiled throughout the entire movie, and much of what he discusses is also in the book Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough. Yet the movie makes Canada’s journey seem easy, while in Whatever It Takes he discusses some of the true difficulties he ran up against that should truly be considered whenever discussing the role of charter schools and public education in education our neediest children. If we want to make true progress we need to look at past road blocks and learn from them, not just brush them under the rug.
The Center for American Progress has analyzed President Obama’s education budget for 2011 in great detail. The center’s analysts had this to say about the budget’s community initiatives:
The president also proposes to support community schools under a reformed CCLC program. The Center for American Progress discussed the benefits of school-based services offered by community schools in a recent report. In addition, the proposed $210 million in funding for Promise Neighborhoods will allow for the replication of the highly successful Harlem’s Children’s Zone in communities across the country. The president is right to prioritize funding for school-level reforms that facilitate access to important social and health services for students and families.
The federal education department issued a press release yesterday explaining President Obama’s 2011 budget request. Here’s the budget proposal for the Promise Neighborhoods program, which received $10 million in the 2010 budget:
$210 million for Promise Neighborhoods, a new competitive grant program modeled on the Harlem Children’s Zone that combines comprehensive social services with school improvements in order to transform whole neighborhoods.
In Sunday’s Washington Post, a lengthy story about the Harlem Children’s Zone and President Obama’s plan to replicate it:
Canada was raised poor in the South Bronx and went on to earn a graduate education degree from Harvard. Years ago, he grew frustrated that his successful after-school program was not decreasing Harlem’s tally of high school dropouts, juvenile arrests and unemployed youths. He set out to devise an encompassing program to “move the needle” and improve the lives of poor children in a mass, standardized, reproducible way.
Now the Obama administration seeks to replicate Canada’s model in 20 cities in a program called Promise Neighborhoods and has set aside $10 million in the 2010 budget for planning. President Obama has frequently singled out the Harlem Children’s Zone, and first lady Michelle Obama recently called Canada “one of my heroes.”