We seem trapped in a language of schooling that stresses economics, accountability and compliance. (Mike Rose, Why School?)
Harlem Children's Zone in Chicago?
"We've been programmed out, and we still have the same problems. We need a communitywide effort that includes the schools, the police, the hospitals, the politicians, the universities all working together."Bishop Arthur Brazier, longtime head of The Woodlawn Organization, is working with University of Chicago officials to craft a plan for the neighborhood. The city's education and crime woes call for a bold, comprehensive strategy, he said. (Chicago Tribune feature on Harlem Children's Zone)More HCZ
President Barack Obama is so impressed with the early successes of the Harlem program that he's set aside $10 million for 20 communities to replicate it. Cities will compete next year for seed money to launch similar "Promise Neighborhoods" in low-income and crime-plagued areas. (Trib)Me: $10 million? For the entire coutry? That's impressed? HCZ's budget alone in $48 million.
The "reconstitution" of L.A. Fremont High
L.A. Unified did so little to improve Fremont High School that eight years ago, the state took on decision-making authority over the school and nine others in L.A. Unified. Students were reading primary-grade picture books; dropout rates were legendary. The state was supposed to provide an improvement plan that would show results within 18 months; if that failed, it would take over the school entirely or impose other sanctions. But no sanctions were imposed, and here's where Fremont is now: 12% or so of students are proficient in reading and writing. About 2,000 students start out as freshmen; by senior year, there are proficient less than 600. (L.A. Times editorial)