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Update: Obama, Poverty, & The Harlem Children's Zone

Tumblr_m8yphtzCIJ1qf4hl5o1_250I'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. One way to read Tough's new piece is as a disappointed followup to all the hullabaloo surrounding the HCZ in 2008 and 2009.  Tough went on tour encouraging communities to try and replicate the HCA.  The Obama administration -- and the school reform community -- invited Canada to all its conferences but supported expansion of the initiative only minimally.  

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Read Pauls NYT look at Roseland - boy what a tough situation. Yes, it is unfortunate that Obama has not really been able to accomplish much of anything on the poverty front - it seems that politics and actually getting something done do not go hand in hand.

Big thumbs up to Yap (going since 1975) and Chicago director Steve Gates for still swinging. They have not given up despite the brutally overwhelming odds. We simply need more people like him and more organizations like YAP.

I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information

I think the problem really comes down to this global misunderstanding as to what the president is actually capable of... why don’t we give Congressmen the media attention we do our presidents? Why isn’t the public more proactive about staying educated about who they’re choosing to make decisions for them?

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