16th January 2014
A funny thing happened on the way to President Obama’s “Promise Zones.” He stepped off track and delivered quite a smack to the teachers unions. In rolling out his newest anti-poverty program, Obama pledged federal support for five targeted communities, which share high unemployment and poverty and cited as a model the Harlem Children’s Zone.
That neighborhood initiative, led by founder Geoffrey Canada, is best known for bringing charter schools to Harlem. The Promise Academies have become the cornerstone of the community’s renaissance. Why? As Obama pointed out, “Last year, a study found that students who win a spot in one of the charter schools score higher on standardized tests than those who didn’t.” It’s that simple. But don’t expect the teachers’ unions to agree.
And they voted for him. Surprise!