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Promise Neighborhoods Will Likely Get $60 million in FY 2012

Nothing is confirmed yet, as we’re still waiting for the vote next week, but we’re hearing that $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods has been included in the spending bill for FY 2012!

This is wonderful news for the communities across the country working to build Promise Neighborhoods, and will plan to apply for new or continued funding.

Read the full article from EdWeek, which outlines the spending bill areas related to education. Here’s the piece on Promise:

“And the Promise Neighborhoods program, which helps communities pair wraparound services, such as health, with education, was a big winner. It got $60 million, according to CEF. That’s up from about $30 million last year.”

Stay tuned! We’ll post details as we get them.

PNI Director McAfee Interviewed in Ed Week!

It’s an early learning kind of week here at the Promise Neighborhoods Institute.

First, the Early Learning Challenge grants were announced. Today, Education Week published an interview Maureen Kelleher conducted with Michael McAfee, director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute, about how early learning fits into the Promise Neighborhoods model, how the Institute is helping communities create Promise Neighborhoods,  and what’s going on with the sites as we look toward the next round of grants.

It’s a must-read!

Michael McAfee, Director, Promise Neighborhoods Institute


Why is “Race” Such a Difficult Word?

Lobbyist and historian John Thompson has a piece in the Huffington Post today that sums up an important issue raised by two other powerful thinkers on the impact of race and poverty on a child’s ability to succeed: we can’t leave race and class out of the education discussion just because they’re hard to talk about!

Paul Tough, author of Whatever It Takes, the story of Geoffrey Canada’s work in creating the Harlem Children’s Zone, has an article in the current New Yorker about a doctor in the most distressed neighborhood of San Francisco who sees firsthand the very real way that childhood traumas affect not only mental health, but physical health as well.

Deborah Meier, the founder of Central Park East I and Central Park East Secondary School, innovative schools in New York’s East Harlem, writes in a recent blog post on Education Week that a conversation about education reform cannot exclude a conversation about class.

Deborah Meier: "We are expected to believe that young people growing up in such intensely poor communities will not be damaged by it unless we have 'low school expectations'—plus lazy, overpaid, unionized teachers!

Are we using euphemisms at the expense of an honest discussion? Thompson notes that the Promise Neighborhoods program is changing the conversation about schooling for the better, because we’re looking at the realities of each community, rather than using blanket terms that don’t get to the heart of the problems.

“What if this post was written without mentioning race, class, family, alcohol, drugs, or depression?” Thompson wonders, and we echo his question: what if the conversation about education leaves out these important words? What kinds of neighborhoods would our children grow up in?