Paul Tough

Writer & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘websites’

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Blog Status: Quiet

Dear Readers,

As you can see, I’m no longer updating this blog with much regularity. I’m leaving it in place here on my website because it’s a useful (to me, at least) archive of posts from 2008 to 2012, mostly relating to my first book, Whatever It Takes, and the Harlem Children’s Zone.

I’m still regularly posting new information about my books, articles, and speaking engagements, but I’m posting it elsewhere. Some links for those updates:

Paul on Twitter
Paul on Facebook
Upcoming speaking engagements
Recent media coverage of How Children Succeed


Friday, November 4th, 2011

Polish interview

I was interviewed recently by Aleksandra Kaniewska, a Polish journalist working for Civic Institute, a think tank in Warsaw, which just published the interview as a Q&A in their web magazine, translated into Polish. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Polish, so I can’t read it, but apparently I said:

Nie chodzi więc o to, żeby dzieci jednego dnia pasjonowały się polityką, a drugiego jazdą na snowboardzie, tylko uparcie dążyły do wybranego przez siebie celu, jakikolwiek on będzie. Niestety, większość szkół nie sprawdza i nie wytwarza umiejętności samokontroli i wytrwałości. A są one niezbędne do szczęśliwego i spełnionego życia!

which according to Google Translate, means:

It is not, therefore, is that one day children are passionate about politics, and a second ride on a snowboard, but stubbornly sought to order their choice, whatever it is. Unfortunately, most schools do not verify and does not produce self-control skills and perseverance. And they are essential to a happy and fulfilled life!

That sounds like me.

Monday, May 9th, 2011

More “Poverty Clinic” reactions

There are a few new interesting blog posts about “The Poverty Clinic,” my profile in the New Yorker of the pediatrician Nadine Burke.

On WellCommons, a community health website in Lawrence, Kansas, the article was discussed as part of an intriguing and ambitious effort to infuse the local healthcare and social-service systems with a new awareness of the potential impact of adverse childhood experiences.

In San Francisco, Marnie Webb, the co-CEO of an organization called TechSoup Global that helps non-profits use technology better, wrote about the article on her blog, concluding:

Sometimes, I think that we, in the helping sectors, focus too much on the symptoms in our particular scope. Not enough on the community around us. I think there’s a lot we can learn from the way Nadine Burke is approaching her practice. I’m just not entirely sure what it is yet.

On the National Resources Defense Council staff blog, Marissa Ramirez writes about the connections between molecular biology and sustainable communities discussed in my article, and about her own transition from biology researcher to environmental advocate:

You may wonder what a former lab-coat wearing molecular biologist is doing advocating for sustainable communities at a leading environmental organization. It turns out she is fostering healthy neuromuscular junctions and optimal epigenetics — one sustainable neighborhood at a time.

And on Crosscut, a Seattle news website, a former teacher and school leader named Judy Lightfoot uses the article to argue against cuts to mental-health services for adolescents in and around Seattle:

Improving the behavior of the parent or caregiver of children in high-risk situations actually changes their physical chemistry, according to the studies Tough cites, leading to fewer behavior problems and greater success in school, as well as measurably better health outcomes as years pass. So it’s distressing to lose [mental health] programs that would have steered children of drug users away from drugs and helped chemically dependent adults be better parents

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011


Yesterday, “Whatever It Takes” received its 1,000th rating on Goodreads. Thanks, Edward Truong!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Canada at Huffington Post event

Geoffrey Canada was chosen by the readers of Huffington Post as the Ultimate Game Changer in Impact of 2010. The video above shows Canada’s remarks at a Huffington Post celebration last Thursday, where he accepted the honor.

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Heckman in the Post

In an interview with Ezra Klein on the Washington Post’s website, the economist James Heckman (who I wrote about in my book and in the New York Times Magazine) has some kind things to say about my recent op-ed, but is less optimistic than I am about Promise Neighborhoods:

Heckman: Look, President Eisenhower built the highway system. President Obama could build the child production system if he wanted to. It would have a much higher payoff than a lot of the programs that are currently there. If you do a cost/benefit analysis of the rate of return for job training, if you talk about early convict rehabilitation programs or literacy training for adults, the rates of return on those programs are generally quite low, very low. It’s just a question of using the same dollars wisely.

Last week there was a great op-ed piece in the New York Times by Paul Tough. He pointed out that we’re spending billions, $8.2 billion a year on Head Start, and Head Start is not a very effective program.

If you had an enriched version of Head Start and invested the same amount of money, you’d get much higher payout in the long run. Each of these programs has a political barnacle connected with it. People are promoting it because they see some advantage, but at the same time there’s really no value in those programs. The point is it’s not a question of raising new money, it’s a question of using existing money wisely.

Klein: If somehow the economy gets to a place where [the Obama administration] can move on to other issues, what would a good first step, federally, be, in moving toward high-quality early education?

Heckman: What you do is move beyond the Harlem Children’s Zone focus that seems to have gripped the administration. That’s fine, but it hasn’t really been evaluated in any serious way yet and it’s not clear that’s the answer.

The key idea is to encourage more experimentation across a broader range of projects, targeting a larger range of people and providing a refocus of what these programs are all about, which is teaching aspects of self-confidence and teaching these soft skills which are typically ignored in a lot of social and political life.

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Promise Neighborhoods Roundup

June 30 was the deadline for groups applying for Promise Neighborhood planning grants, and according to this story in Youth Today, the department of education received 339 separate applications for the 20 grants. The department’s web site posted an interactive map showing where the applications came from. NPR did a story. And the Nonprofit Quarterly had some predictions:

Who is likely to get the Promise Neighborhoods designations? Potential applicants are sorting through their competitive advantages and disadvantages. Those with histories of foundation support and backing have something of a leg up in generating matching dollars, such as the Highline School District in and around Seattle, which boasts a decade of involvement from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections project. An impending Los Angeles County application boasts the involvement of a funders consortium including the California Endowment and the Annenberg Foundation. For the Dwight neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut, long the focus of planning efforts over the years, the presence of Yale as a neighbor constitutes a level of institutional and technical credibility.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of local coverage of specific applicants, including stories, editorials, and letters from Charleston, South Carolina; Rochester, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; Norwich, Connecticut; Athens, Georgia; Las Vegas; northeast Ohio; and a Native American community in rural Colorado.

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.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Early-childhood book club

The National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education has selected “Whatever It Takes” for its quarterly book club. I’ll be taking part in a “web conference” to discuss the book online on March 24 at noon Eastern time.

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

News from San Diego

Voice of San Diego, an online “public-service, nonprofit news organization that focuses on in-depth and investigative reporting,” has posted an interesting new story about efforts to turn San Diego’s City Heights area into a Promise Neighborhood. According to the story, people there are wrestling with an unusual dilemma: Would landing a Promise Neighborhood grant mean there was too much philanthropic investment in the neighborhood?

In some ways, residents believe, City Heights is ideally situated to compete for the federal grant. It has San Diego’s largest network of community-based nonprofits tackling issues from affordable housing to gang violence to financial literacy.

“City Heights has arisen as a very strong potential community,” said Diana Ross, collaborative director of the Mid City Community Advocacy Network, which supports organizations in the area. “We have more resources, and City Heights is a community where there’s a lot of investment.”

But there are also standing questions about whether the community, which already enjoys significant philanthropic investment, is equipped to handle even more. On Tuesday, more than 100 community residents and nonprofit leaders met at the City Heights Wellness Center to learn about the federal initiative and begin discussing whether City Heights was ready for it.