Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Takes More Than Schools to Close Achievement Gap

Harlem's Children Zone is a wonderful and effective program that I am extremely proud of being apart of .

Harlem Children’s Zone,®Inc. has experienced incredible growth - from the number of children we serve to the breadth of our services. But one thing has stayed the same: the agency’s “whatever it takes” attitude when it comes to helping children to succeed. The organization began 1970 as Rheedlen, working with young children and their families as the city’s first truancy-prevention program.

Attending a school in the South Bronx, how could I ever find out about Harlem's Children Zone?
I was given a little bit of luck and fell into the city contract.
I was given the opportunity to participate in a Harlem's Children Zone's High School After-School program called Learn to Earn. What Harlem Children Zone does is become the second home for children. They provide opportunities to children- teaching them and providing what they may lack. Some things that I was given were Free S.A.T Prep classes, Field trips, Stipends, College trips, homework help, and free prom dresses.

Based on statistics, Harlem's Children Zone has lived up to it's expectations. this past spring, 100 percent of the third-graders at HCZ Promise Academy II scored at or above grade level in the statewide math tests. ( A few blocks away, 97 percent of the Promise Academy I third-graders were at or above grade level.
Many of these children have been in HCZ programs from the time their parents were in The Baby College, which highlights the effectiveness of HCZ comprehensive model of supporting children.

President Barack Obama Remarks about Harlem's Children Zone on July 18,2007

Hope is found in what works. In those South Side neighborhoods, hope was found in the after school programs we created, and the job training programs we put together, and the organizing skills we taught residents so that they could stand up to a government that wasn't standing up for them. Hope is found here at THEARC, where you've provided thousands of children with shelter from the streets and a home away from home. And if you travel a few hours north of here, you will find hope amid ninety-seven neighborhood blocks in the heart of Harlem. This is the home of the Harlem Children's Zone - an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance. The philosophy behind the project is simple - if poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment and violence; failing schools and broken homes, then we can't just treat those symptoms in isolation. We have to heal that entire community. And we have to focus on what actually works. If you're a child who's born in the Harlem Children's Zone, you start life differently than other inner-city children. Your parents probably went to what they call " Baby College", a place where they received counseling on how to care for newborns and what to expect in those first months. You start school right away, because there's early childhood education. When your parents are at work, you have a safe place to play and learn, because there's child care, and after school programs, even in the summer. There are innovative charter schools to attend. There's free medical services that offer care when you're sick and preventive services to stay healthy. There's affordable, good food available so you're not malnourished. There are job counselors and financial counselors. There's technology training and crime prevention. You don't just sign up for this program; you're actively recruited for it, because the idea is that if everyone is involved, and no one slips through the cracks, then you really can change an entire community. Geoffrey Canada, the program's inspirational, innovative founder, put it best - instead of helping some kids beat the odds, the Harlem Children's Zone is actually changing the odds altogether.

How's that for a program?

My opionion

I was given the chance to visit Reed College in Portland, Oregon for my spring break. At a future Reedie I was excited to meet students and faulty. Once getting there I was in a culture shock. I was flying in as an underrepresented student. What I did not know was how underrepresented I really was.
Many students from all over the country who attended Private Institutions were unaware of the public schools in New York City. After having many conversations with them, these students were then able to understand the problem within this system. With this awareness they congratulated me for "leaping over the achievement gap". But was the problem solved? No
I couldn't help but feel nervous and ignorant for everyone seemed to speak with such an advance vocabulary that I was left in the dust. But I tried not to feel discouraged.
Where is our system? Where is it's preparations? I will prevail.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Teaching for america

This is an organization that helps in closing the achievement gap, sending teachers to teach in the most needed schools, check this out its really nice.



Ask questions.

Economy Affecting Education

The achievement gap is a result of many factors- the economy being one of them.
In this Daily New's Article Called City Struggling to find room in kindergarten for 3,000 kids-even with bigger classrooms by Rachel Monahan has left me speechless. The New York City Public School System lacks many resources but now they are pushing the maximum capacity of students per classrooms , instead of the average 21 students per classrooms we are now getting 25. The educational officials are saying that even with a max. cap. of 25 students there still might not be enough room. How awful.
What now?
Yes, the economy is effecting everyone but explain to me how our children will getting the undivided educational need they deserve to succeed in life with that many students in one classroom. Everyone of those 25 students will be learning differently. Our education is the most valuable thing we have, our children are the future these two things we need to protect.
Please tell me what you think.

Link below:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Conservatives used them to say that the quality of schools did not matter, so why bother offering more than the bare necessities?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Progress too slow

"Evidence of progress"

Despite these challenges, several states have demonstrated that the achievement gap can be reduced – if not entirely closed. For instance, according to the Education Trust:

  • Texas: Here, NAEP writing scores for eighth-grade African-Americans are equal to or higher than the writing scores of white students in seven states.
  • Virginia: This state boasts one of the nation's smallest achievement gaps between whites and Hispanics. Here, eighth-grade Hispanic students had the highest NAEP writing scores for Hispanic students in any state.
  • Department of Defense (DOD) schools: Despite high mobility, minority students in DOD schools do better on NAEP than their counterparts, yielding a smaller achievement gap. Fourth-grade white students in DOD schools outscored their African-American counterparts by an average of 17 points on the NAEP reading test – a considerably smaller gap than the national average of 32 points."

Although progress is better than nothing this results are dauting. This progress is considerably slow. Where are our teachers? Where are the parents?

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Hey welcome bloggers.
I am very happy to share my opionions with you. Please feel free to state yours!

Attending a Public School in the South Bronx is a first hand experience of the corruption within the New York City Public School System. The system that abondand hundred and hundreds of students. It has given us the "big achievement gap".

The racial and economic achievement gaps are a fact that many simply cannot seem to accept—morally, economically or socially. We know that all children can learn to the same high levels, so we must confront and change those things that are holding groups of students back-our children.

The U.S. Department of Education describes the achievement gap as the difference in academic performance between different ethnic groups. This gap is defined as the injustice between white students and other ethnic groups and between English learners and native English speakers, socioeconomically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged, and students with disabilities as compared to students without disabilities.

The more aware we are. The more successful students we will have. A better future for everyone.