Closing the Achievement GapNovember 11, 2009 Leave a comment
In this video, Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone looks at the structural nature of racism in the US and speaks about what it will take to overcome the legacy of unequal opportunity. Instead of putting people into the prison system, he advocates for rebuilding community, getting people reengaged by bringing communities together to solve their own problems.
He also advocates for creating best practice programs from birth and staying with them through graduation from college to help kids succeed. As well, he talks about what needs to happen in areas in which the kids are behind at the beginning of the year – changing public education to help catch kids up who are behind – to make more than one year’s progress in a year.
“Every day we are challenged by people who tell us why there are things that we will never do, things that can’t be solved, questions that can’t be answered, things that are too complicated, systems people have put in place that you can’t change, that no one does it that way. Part of our challenge is to really think outside the box. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
IISC has been doing some work, though it’s education practice, with school systems working to eliminate the achievement gap. I find Canada’s approach so inspiring – and wonder what you think.