I'm away until Thursday -- feel free to post news links and comments for your fellow readers in my absence -- but will leave you with a couple of things to read and lots of opportunities to comment. First and foremost, you should check out Paul Tough's NYT Sunday Magazine look at Roseland and at young Barack Obama's notion that he could do more to alleviate poverty as a politician than as a community organizer -- which at least so far hasn't happened. Also not to be missed -- and directly related -- is a recent Atlantic Cities blog post about why the Harlem Children's Zone, Geoff Canada's much-vaunted effort to provide wraparound services (including education), hasn't been replicated. Tough wrote about the Harlem Children's Zone in several magazine articles and his 2008 book, Whatever It Takes. The Obama administration -- and the school reform community -- invited Canada to all its conferences but supported expansion of the initiative only minimally. Helen Zelon and I wrote about some of the gaps in the HCZ's accomplishments that were usually missed by the press. Last but not least, Tough is appearing at the first of Catalyst's policy luncheons, on 9/27 -- see schedule below.
September 27: New Path to Close the Achievement Gap
Speaker: Paul Tough, author of the forthcoming “How Children Succeed” and of “Whatever It Takes,” his 2008 examination of the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Respondent: Barbara Bowman, co-founder and former president of the Erikson Institute.
October 30: What Schools Can Do
Speaker: Camille Farrington, Research Associate (Assistant Professor), University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Consortium on Chicago School Research.
Mary Ann Pitcher, co-director, Network for College Success.
Elizabeth Dozier, principal, Fenger High School, a turn-around school in the Roseland neighborhood.
Sean Stalling, chief of schools, South Side Network, Chicago Public Schools.