To be or not to be? Communities that applied for Obama’s Promise Neighborhood grants in the past have asked this question. They wanted their communities to be more conducive to learning in order to help their students achieve in their schools. The Harlem Child Zone was the picture of what Promise Neighborhoods wanted to achieve. Many critics have felt like the cost is not worth the product that Harlem Child Zone has created. The Harlem Child Zone leader, Mr. Canada said, “We are attempting to save a community and its kids at the same time…” The intent of these programs make sense, and are its strengths. The critics say that there is not enough evidence that “its approach to linking social services to promote student achievement… justified the investment of federal education dollars.”
If I had to choose a side… I feel like it’s worth it. The sad thing is… the Promise Neighborhoods program has only been around since 2010… and here we are in 2013 and “due to the amount of funding available” there are no new Promise Neighborhoods grants to apply for. Here is the statement from the department of education from May:
If we don’t have these services around long enough to be able to show a difference, how can we judge them accordingly? Do you think that investing money into the community truly makes a difference in the lives of those students? Is the difference worth the money?
- Buffalo Promise Neighborhood Children’s Academy Opens for 150 City Kids (sys-con.com)
- Promise Neighborhoods launch in LA w/school site partnerships (californiaschildren.typepad.com)
- What You Need to Know About New York City’s Charter Schools (dianeravitch.net)
- Juan Gonzalez: Harlem Success Academy Suspends Losers | Diane Ravitch’s blog (burde1pa.com)