The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

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The Kid-Saving Business

After gobbling up last week’s stellar NYT Mag cover story from David Leonhardt, I Kindled Paul Tough’s book about the birth of Harlem’s Promise Academy, Whatever It Takes. The book is stellar. Tough’s NYT Mag piece from 2006 gives a nice intro, but it ends by recounting the successes of KIPP charter schools. Whatever It Takes is in many ways a chronicle of the academic underworld, the students beyond KIPP’s reach. And it’s a fascinating primer on how education in America is transforming.

February 7, 2009 / Uncategorized


1. I am totally going to check this book out.

2. “Kindled”! I love it!

Re: Kindle;

1) That’s what happens when you noun a verb — the noun gets verbed again!

2) The imagery is actually beautiful — it’s as if you started a small fire that actually evoked the text into being.

I think what Paul Tough is doing is fantastic and it shows the influence that one person with a phenomenal idea (and some serious cheddar) can have, but there are two major issues that have yet to be addressed:

1) What will the educational trajectory of the kids whose parents went through Baby College turn out to be? It’s still too early to know how the kids who are part of HCZ from the get-go fare, because Baby College and the early childhood educational stuff hasn’t been around for that long. (I read this book a little while back, but I only bring that up because IIRC, many of the kids who are part of the program either struggle or grow disillusioned with the program or both when they hit the end of junior high/beginning of high school.)

2) Can a program like this be implemented on a larger scale?

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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