In case you have missed it, there has been a ton of interesting discussions about the Harlem Children’s Zone over the past 36 hours, ever since the Brookings Institute released a critical report.
I’ve been writing about it a lot at my other blog, Engaging Parents in School. You can get the latest by going here.
Personally, I think the HCZ has done some very good work with a whole lot of private money, most of which is not available to schools in other places. So I’m wary of this idea of “replication,” but putting a few additional resources into communities who are trying to do something similar certainly can’t hurt kids.
I’ve been concerned that the HCZ can look at parents more as clients instead of partners, and have questions about what might be their lack of relationships with other neighborhood community groups and religious congregations. Perhaps if other groups look at those two issues differently, they might be able to develop political support to get additional resources and create needed supportive services.