Jury still out on impact of Harlem Children's Zone schools
| Oct 14, 2010
President Obama created a grant program to copy his block-by-block approach to ending poverty. The British government praised his charter schools as a model. And a new documentary opening across the country (Waiting for Superman) revolves around him: Geoffrey Canada, the magnetic Harlem Children’s Zone leader with strong ideas about how American education should be fixed.
But Canada and his charter schools have struggled with the same difficulties faced by other urban schools, even as they outspend them. While its cradle-to-college approach, which seeks to break the cycle of poverty for all 10,000 children in a 97-block zone of Harlem, may be breathtaking in scope, the jury is still out on its overall impact. And the cost of its charter schools — around $16,000 per student in the classroom each year, as well as thousands of dollars in out-of-class spending — has raised questions about their utility as a nationwide model. Read more of this article by Sharon Otterman in The New York Times online.