Manuel Pastor is professor of geography at the University of Southern California and co-author of This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Reshaping Metropolitan America.
Geoffrey Canada, head of Harlem Children's Zone, talks to a participant of he HCZ Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) has given new meaning to the adage that failure is an orphan but success has a thousand parents. The zone, a public-private partnership founded and led by the charismatic Geoffrey Canada, has produced significant gains in student achievement in the context of a deeply troubled neighborhood. This has made it both a darling of some conservatives and a supposed paradigm for the Obama administration's approach to urban distress.