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Is the White House Committed to Addressing the Role Poverty Plays in the Achievement Gap?

The Department of Education is allocating more money to the Promise Neighborhoods program. Is it enough to make a real difference?


More money is coming to the U.S. Department of Education's year-old Promise Neighborhoods program. Modeled after Geoffrey Canada's successful Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) initiative, the Promise Neighborhoods program awarded $10 million in 2010 to 21 mostly nonprofit and higher education-based applicants. That money funded the planning stage of comprehensive, cradle-through-college-to-career wraparound services with great schools at the center. Now, starting today, the USDOE is launching a second phase of the program and will provide $30 million to a new round of grant applicants and fund the implementation of 4-6 existing projects.

But given that 20 percent of American students live in poverty, will this limited amount of money scale up the interventions fast enough to make a difference for kids?

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Hey, Young People: Arne Duncan Wants to Answer Your Education Questions

A new youth-oriented contest is taking questions for the man in charge of American education policy. Have one? Get to asking!


The hashtag #askstudents is trending on Twitter today, and it's a reminder that the ideas and questions of today's youth need to be included in the conversation about how best to improve education. Fortunately, an exciting open-source democracy contest being run by national youth news site SparkAction! wants to put young people's questions in front of the man in charge of American education policy, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The contest is being held in conjunction with the upcoming U.S. Department of Education National Youth Summit which takes place in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 2011. The summit theme centers around one central question: How can we meet President Obama's goal of leading the world in college completion by 2020? Summit registration filled up in 48 hours, but through the contest, young people across the country can still make their voices heard.

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