In the opening chapter of his book about Geoffrey Canada and the Harlem Children’s Zone, Paul Tough discusses a “lottery” where apparently fortunate parents can enroll their children into a potentially high-performing school. Interestingly, Tough juxtaposes the randomness of a lottery with Canada’s vision to create “a programmatic, standardized” approach to assisting children “that could be applied broadly and replicated nationwide.”
Here at the beginning of the book, what do you think about Canada’s vision?
Or, what did you think about the disparities that Tough highlighted. In particular, he mentions that “The average white family in Manhattan with children under five now had an annual income of $284,000, while their black counterparts made an average of $31,000.” Were you surprised by the disparity? What kinds of advantages do you see white children having over black children as a result of those economic differences?
I would say that i would totally agree with Canada's vision on how black children should have the same opportunities as whites and allowing them to get a good education for free ensures that they are treated equal as whites. Although the lottery system is an "unfair" way to select the students, it is the most "fair" way to do it. People are going to be upset if their children aren't selected but in this decade's society, they will allows be winner and losers. I felt that the lottery system was the most fair way to select the stujdents.
And as for the huge gap between the incomes of the 2 races, I'm not surprised by this at all. Whites make more money because they got a better education as children, where only a very few blacks got the same education. Also, there is still and always will be the "racial" profiling, meaning companies may chose a high school drop out Caucasian to a college graduate African-American. Although i am not surprised bu the huge gap, i am sick to my stomach on how blacks were not given the same opportunities as whites.
I believe that Canada's vision of building a school for children living in poverty is attainable and selfless. His main goal for the school is to give an opportunity for children to prosper even though their demographics and statistics give the Harlem citizens discouraging statements. Canada's school is the one thing that many families can look forward to for their children. It is something that I would somehow want to be a part of because it can change children's lives.
As for the disparity between the two groups, I am not surprised that there is that big of a difference. I come from a very diverse town and I see this type of difference in income at school, driving through the town, and at the mall. It seems to me as though white people have a better education, better houses, and more shopping bags to fill.
Canada is trying to make a difference in one of those aspects, which is the education of the Harlem citizens. This is the first step in order for them to change the next two (houses and wants/necessities).
When reading chapter 1 I related to Canada when he talked of how some programs that are offered in the poor communities help so little youth that those that are in the programs stick out as the odd ball, which make youth not even want to be apart of the programs. When Canada's dream of helping more children arised I was in total agreement with his plan.
I believe that his linked program of helping poor children from birth up was an excellent idea. I say this because I am a product of the head start program and just like Canada mention for a while I did exceed my peers for the beginning part of my education but now I see myself as an average student.
Hearing his ideas really sparked a light in me and made me believe that if I look at problems and try to solve the way that he did, maybe I coud make a diffence like Canada.
First off, I would like to say that I really enjoy the book so far, and I'm looking forward to the rest!
I do agree with the vision Canada has to help the black children earn a better education. He seems like such a helpful person, so caring and so concerned for the children. It's inspiring; I love getting a glimpse, almost, into his brain and thoughts during the entire process. The way he set up the lottery, I feel there is no better way he could have approached it. That was the only fair way to pick children for the school considering the amount of parents who signed up their children to hopefully get into the school. It was the luck of the draw, and the children who were chosen were chosen by God for a reason. The parent's whose children didn't get it would just need to realize this. I stand by Canada wholeheartedly.
I think Canada's vision for the black community was a great plan. He really wanted to make a change so that people wouldnt have a excuse to fail anymore. By taking charge of his community he encouraged better oppurtunies for the families that wanted more for their children.
I would say that what Canada's vision for an academically striving school for minority students is a breakthrough opportunity for most students and parents. It might sound like a big jump but overall I believe you have to take risks in order to promote change in a society. And if Canada is successful with his project hopefully it can encourage others to continue the legacy. The lottery system is the only thing makes getting into the school difficult. I know it's a fair way to accept children but, are we just suppose to leave the others along the wayside. The disparity between whites and blacks doesn't surprise me but it invokes something within me to try and change these statistics one black family at a time. One thing that plays a major role in these disparities are the environmental factors that black and white families have in general. More money equals a better education and vice versa unless there is an exceptional case, which there are.
I was not surprised at all by the income difference between races. I read an article last month talking about how far African Americans have come in the work force in the past two decades. The issue is, African Americans have only seen progress in limited industries, most notably sports (professional teams). "In the 2001 Racial and Gender Report Card, which analyzed the composition of players and administrators in professional leagues, only the Women's National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association scored well…who's running the league doesn't look like who's playing in the league."
While we all know that we cannot be discriminated in employment based on race, color, religion, or sex (Title VII)- it seems to be questionable. A study was done concerning African American executives. In many courts cases involving discrimination at the lower lever employment - the law will protect the minority. However, when the issue involves seeking upper level positions it becomes more difficult. The courts will say lack of expertise and as a result black families are left in lower incomes. It is almost as if African Americans are victimized by the employment process.
I enjoyed learning about Canada and his goals to help kids, not just through grade school and high school, but also through college. He doesn’t just want to help a few kids but everyone, and he wanted to change their environments. If we had more individuals with this mentality and drive to get programs running, we may not have to go through the disappointment of letting families down with systems such as ‘lottery.’
I was shocked when i read how big of a gap there still is between the average incomes of blacks and whites. I guess i assumed in todays society there would be more equality between the two. We can also compare that to the gap between mens and womens salaries as well, that is still present today.
I agree with the comment douglas mentions about the fact that whites got better edecation as children compared to blacks which can also effect the income. Although this is unfortunate the mistakes of the people before us are still effecting society today.
In my opinion Canada's vision is an admirable one. Many inequalities exist in America but the most alarming is that which children from areas such as Harlem face. At the very beginning of their live these children are setback simply because of their socioeconomic status.
I like Canada's vision to correct these problems and more so the manner in which he is implementing it. His business like approach to his non-profit programs seems to be an integral part of his success.
I admire Canada's dedication and commitment to his vision. It is extremely important that students have the opportunity to succeed despite their background. Minorities tend to continuously fall into the same traps (jail, teenage pregnancy, drugs) when they miss out a valuable education. Minorities are the only group that fall into to these dilemmas, but they are more likely to end up in these situations than whites. Therefore, everyone should have the chance to receive a good education in hopes to better the outcome of their future. All children deserve a chance to succeed.
Christian Bias said...
I was not shocked at the significant difference of income between white and black families. White families simply have an advantage to the education system which makes them more avaliable to take advantage of their opportunites. I learned of this term "meritocracy" in my sociology class, which in a society "everyone" has an equal chance of success however, we live in capitalist society and by definition it is impossible for thei to be a real meritocracy in our school systems. Mr. Canada just needs to find areas in his innovative teaching facilities that can be improved.
The world needs more men like Geoffrey Canada because his vision to help poor black children have a better education is a great thing. I completely agree with Geoffrey Canada’s educational vision for black kids to be able to have the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. This idea should be adopted everywhere because it’s the only way that everyone can treated equally. The only thing that I disagree with is the fact that students are chosen through a lottery system because it seems unfair but that’s the only fair way for all the children to be chosen for the school.
Regarding the income gap between whites and blacks I feel like that gap is ridiculous. The fact that the “average” white family makes $284,000, while blacks average $31,000 is outrageous. This is wrong and I completely understand why white students in Manhattan have a better education than black students. I really want to get involved with this because black kids deserve a proper education just like everyone else.
Sadly, the disparity is not surprising to me, especially when I consider the factors that probably led to that disparity. Those factors make me think that this is a viscious cycle.
Unfortunately, money makes the world turn, so white families will have far more resources for their children. Their children would be better educated because the money creates an opportunity to ensure that their child attends the best possible schools. The poor parents will have to send their child to a neighborhood school which will, more than likely, not provide the same standard of education. Also, a parent that works set hours a week as oppose to 9 AM to 5 PM one day, and 2 PM to 11 PM the next would have more time to oversee their child's growth. As I learned from reading Outliers last year, richer children experience significant gains over the summer as oppose to their poorer counterparts. One possible reason for this is because their parents are around to encourage them in worthwhile summer pursuits.
I think the disparities that Tough highlighted are astonishing! Sure those values seem typical of what people assume and speculate when discussing racial income, but to hear those values from actual statistical data is almost unreal. Certainly a difference of over a quarter of a million dollars in income between blacks and whites causes some unfair advantages.
I would have to say that I am not surprised by the disparity though. Growing up on the lower of the two incomes, I have heard and seen what life is like for those kinds of white people. The worst part is that the children did not ask for, nor have any control over the situation either way.
Some of the kinds of advantages I see white children having over black children include a better education, athletics, extracurricular activities, appearance, as well as connections and opportunities later on in life. As we all know, money cannot but happiness. However, it can but many other things in this world unfortunately.
I also can agree with Canada's vision to help the children in the poverty stricken areas. I could relate to the neighborhood and schools that he mentioned in the first chapter. I also agree with the lottery because as Canada stated they were trying to help the children that were worst off, and he didn't feel a selection proccess other than the lottery would be fair.
The Gap in the incomes is present worldwide in cities such as this one. Therefore there will be a great difference in the education provided to white children and poor black children. Which will unfortunately continue the cycle that has been going on for many years.
Reading so far I'm happy to see the effort that Canada has made towards educating black, but I'm still not surprised as to what's going on. I was not surprised to see the income of white being still higher than blacks. Even though we have a half black president that doesn't mean that the African American's salary would instantly sky rocket to the same level as whites, who's passed working generations have been passed down. Black still have a lot of work to do but with the help of Canada's vision, it's only leading in the right direction.
I liked what Jamie said about how "Canada's vision of building a school for children living in poverty is attainable and selfless." -- There may not be a better way to put it!
Something I thought that was so profound was the heart that Mr. Canada had for these kids -- and how even though he knew his heart would break over those who wouldn't get in, he still wanted to provide for as many as he could.
The concept that this could be "replicated nationwide" is staggeringly amazing -- what if something like this were to start in East St. Louis? or Granite City? Mr. Canada's vision was with the wisdom that all he could do at present was for Harlem... but also with the possibility for this to be a bigger thing than that.
I'm interested to see where this goes...
Canada's vision is refreshing. In these times where selfishness is the way to ahead, it's refreshing to see that someone still cares enough about underprivilieged generation. He is trying to build that idea of a community again. Changing the life of one child and having them succeed is attainable, but changing the lives of a community, now that's amazing.
This first section of the book, Canada's idea for a better life and then the process of making this idea an action, reminds me of this saying, "If I have the belief that I can do it, I will surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning." Mahatma Gandhi
I believe that Canada's vision will produce fully functioning African Americans in mainstream America. Particularly because his school starts with kindergarten aged children and develops with them through 12th grade. I'm happy Canada realized that to make an effective change, you have to start young and allow those lessons to follow through to young adulthood.
I wasn't surprised by the disparity between White and African American average annual incomes but I was surprised to find that their income was 89% higher than Blacks. Because the education system did not give African American students the same level of education and opportunity, this really was the only expected outcome. Canada's vision will change this.
Having the same opportunities reguardless of race is the definition of equality. People think our country has equality but in reality the truth is sugar coated with one or two outliers where equality does actually take place. Living in Harlem, most of its citizens believe that the upperclass is out of their reach but Canada's actions lead them to a different conclusion. He acts on a personality trait that is long forgotten by many, selflessness. His drive to want to see underprivaleged children succeed is quiet exhilirating. Perhaps one day his way of thinking will become the norm and everyone will have the same chances to succeed as anyone else.
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