Only a few days after the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone visited Oklahoma City, President Barack Obama announced a $10 million competitive grant to replicate the zone’s success.
The Harlem Children’s Zone is a non-profit organization in Harlem that serves 10,000 children and approximately 7,000 parents in a 97-block area of Harlem.
The privately funded $75 million-a-year operation has produced academic results from some of the area’s poorest children that have astonished long-time educators.
Obama’s grant will provide up to $500,000 for 20 organizations across the nation to create “promise neighborhoods” modeled after Canada’s.
Geoffrey Canada spoke to local educators Wednesday at the Petroleum Club about the need for action to end the education crisis in America.
Read tomorrow’s Oklahoman for information about what local agencies will be applying for this grant due in June.
A 10th grader at Choctaw High School rang the bell this morning to open the New York Stock Exchange as part of the “Ring the Bell” national competition for excellence in math.
Reign Glover won the honor of ringing the bell after a former teacher nominated her for her “compelling drive to succeed against the odds and her inner strength.”
Glover moved to Oklahoma a year and a half ago after one of her parents died, but the teen has remained academically successful despite having to help raiser her five younger siblings in a single-parent home, according to a media release from the non-profit Get Schooled.
The Get Schooled Foundation flew Glover to New York for the opening ceremony today and also provided her with a chance to meet actor Hank Azaria, a backstage tour of the New York Stock Exchange, a Dell laptop and other prizes.
Glover returns to Oklahoma tomorrow.
Viacom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed the Get Schooled Foundation to encourage math and science achievements in education.
Geoffrey Canada is a giant in the educational world.
His Harlem Children’s Zone is successfully taking 10,000 of New York’s inner city youth and putting them on track for academic success, higher education and a way out of poverty.
Those are the dreams that any public school has for its “at-risk” youth, but particularly urban districts face the challenge of overcoming the odds to place students in higher education or professional fields that are personally or economically rewarding.
Here’s New York Time’s columnist David Brooks take on the “enormous gains” seen by children in Canada’s program.
This story from Education Week touts the same study and the program’s remarkable results but cautions that the program spends $19,000 per student. Oklahoma public schools average $8,000 per student.
Canada will speak Wednesday, April 28 at the Petroleum Club, 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Tickets to the event are $40 and will not be sold at the door. Call the Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. at 524-3800 for more information.
Oklahoma was awarded $39 million in federal School Improvement Grants to turn around the lowest performing schools, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday.
The bottom five percent of the state’s schools – most likely those who are on the federal “needs improvement list” – will be able to apply for the grants from the Oklahoma Department of Education.
School districts will have to select one of four plansto restructure the failing schools. They are:
→Turnaround model: Replace the principal and rehire no more than 50 percent of the staff.
→Restart model: Close and reopen as a charter school or under independent management.
→Closure model: Close the school and enroll students in a higher achieving school.
→Transformation model: Replace the principal, institute comprehensive instructional reforms, implement longer school days, increase community participation and provide the principal with flexibility and support in curriculum and staffing.
Oklahoma City Public Schools has already announced it will seek the grant money for two of it’s schools that have been on the “needs improvement” list for four years: F.D. Moon Academy and U.S. Grant High School.
Half of the teachers at U.S. Grant were notified last week that they wouldn’t return to the school but would be relocated throughout the district. While discussions are ongoing at the combined middle and high school F.D. Moon Academy about which of the four models would be implemented.
There may be as many as 36 schools throughout the state that qualify for the funding, but they would have to apply.