The "Harlem Children's Zone" Juggernaut

Harlem children zone

The Tribune’s Stephanie Banchero does a good job (Successful New York program a possible solution for Chicago) describing the Harlem Children’s Zone, a New York-based program that has won widespread acclaim and is likely to be imitated in other places including perhaps Woodlawn, Logan Square or Chicago Lawn.  But her story gives precious little space to many questions and criticisms that surround the program, including whether it’s as effective or comprehensive as has been claimed, or whether it could be replicated without a charismatic leader like Geoffrey Canada or millions in Wall Street donations that have since dried up. Take a look and let us know if you see more caution or skepticism than I do — and if you think this could work in Chicago. 

Filed under: The World Outside CPS


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  • I just read Stephanie Banchero

  • Thanks Rod for the commentary. CPS has a general problem of making knee jerk announcements for problems that it is called on to respond to. The devil is in the details of any announcement by CPS. CPS gives no details of programs. Why? I have to find out what CPS is or not doing or doing badly by visiting this blog! I have more faith in the info on this blog than in Monique Bond!!!

  • The question which applies to this and all charter proposals: open enrollmment lotteries are great/fair, but what are the conditions for removing low-performing students? Is it just another 'back door' creaming process where all have chance to be let in, but obsession to show different/measurable gains (and thus secure ongoing funding) leads to draconian practices for exiting a lot of students through 'rules violations' which are in truth selectively applied removal strategies for low scoring students (i.e. attendance or 'behavior') - I'm asking you Noble Street and Urban Prep ...

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