Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America

Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America

by Paul Tough
4.1 19

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Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
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I believe, as do many of my colleagues, that Whatever it Takes should be required reading for all new teachers and professors. As one embarks on a career in education, it is necessary to remind oneself yet again of the flaws of the American education system and those children that it ultimately fails to help.
tootallwalsh More than 1 year ago
Anyone who teaches, is an administrator or wants to work in education should read this book. It traces not only the work of Canada, but also the educational studies that have been done over the years, some of good service and some exposing stereotypes and bad information. This should be required reading for inner city studies programs and for those who really care about making a difference through their efforts to educate children, especially those who don't have the resources found in most middle and upper class families. The concept of beginning to enlighten parents before a child is born and continuing this through the "conveyor belt system" of early childhood to preschool will make a lot of sense. It also reminds us that the "heroic measures" in education of turning a low achieving junior high student into a high achieving high school student is possible but not probable. It all begins at the beginning. This is where success starts... with shapes, sizes and descriptive words as well as exposure at home to vocabulary words and other learning opportunities. Canada's story must be told nationwide. READ THIS BOOK!
hullo More than 1 year ago
Whatever It Takes traces the efforts of the Harlem Children's Zone and its founder Geoffrey Canada to give kids living in Harlem a chance. More than that, it chronicles the HCZ's efforts to ensure that each child, no matter his or her background or family situation, has the opportunity to go to college. Taking occasional short detours to survey the political and academic background behind comprehensive school reform, the consensus appears that it will take more than just dedicated teachers--a full intervention into the fabric of the community surrounding at-risk kids is required. The question, however, is just that: exactly how much *will* it take?

We find there are no simple answers, but telling the story is a necessary step on the path to understanding, and ultimately correcting, the problems that ail our poorer neighborhoods--and, while the emphasis in this book is clearly on the urban setting of the Harlem Children's Zone, the lessons should be the same for rural areas facing many of the same problems. By the end, I wished that Tough had spent more time on the non-school programs that complement the efforts of HCZ's Promise Academy at the K-12 level, but within its focus Whatever It Takes remains a fantastic exploration of the issues that confront school reform and repairing our social fabric.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book describes an effort to assist and change the lives of wretchedly poor folks in Harlem. the solution is the kids. teach the parents how best to parent, and provide all manner of support. the only bad news is that we may not be able to do anything for the parents themselves. the Harlem Children's Zone is fairly new, but as far as we can tell, what they offer works. please read it, and pass it on to all of good will.