For the last two decades, Geoffrey Canada has led Harlem Children's Zone, a massive project in New York City that aspires to break the cycle of poverty by offering charter schools and preschool, parenting workshops and health programs for impoverished families.
Canada is a superstar of the school reformer movement, and he figures prominently in the film "Waiting for Superman." While I've only seen bits and pieces of the film, it seems that its basic thrust is that the future could be rosy and every child could get a great education if only we got rid of those awful teachers unions.
I am also generally suspicious of any film praised in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal as a "stunning liberal expose of a system that consigns American children who most need a decent education to our most destructive public schools." Nobody is questioning that millions of American kids are denied a decent education.
But all the merit pay, standardized testing and busted unions in the world can't compare to solid parenting, a stable home life and safe neighborhoods. A book signing will follow the lecture.