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MTV: Obama Hypes Harlem Children's Zone On MTV

Over the weekend, Presidential candidate Barack Obama highlighted the Harlem Children's Zone in response to a question about helping disadvantaged neighborhoods (Ask Obama).

Mtv_logo

Now I'm all for new ideas and for making things better, but I'm also extremely allergic to hype.  Some questions: 

How comprehensive is the HCZ in terms of Harlem kids it serves?  (According to this recent interview about the HCZ only 1-2,000 kids have actually gone through Canada's "conveyor belt" so far.)

How new or different is what HCZ is doing from what others have done or tried to do in the past?  (It doesn't seem all that different to me from things like Empowerment Zones, except that it's deemed to have worked.) 

Do we have any real sense why HCZ's efforts panned out so much better than everyone else's, or whether HCZ is replicable?  (The absence of other success or examples to point to suggests that it's not.)

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