Where you find distressed neighborhoods, you will also find poorly performing public schools. Yet many contemporary school reform efforts ignore neighborhood-level factors that undeniably impact school performance. The purpose of this study is to use a case study approach with social institutional and urban school reform regime frameworks to demonstrate why school reform and the re-creation and redevelopment of distressed neighborhoods should occur simultaneously. At the same time, researchers will examine the role of higher education in catalyzing partnerships with so-called anchor institutions for the explicit purposes of simultaneously improving neighborhoods and reforming schools. By focusing on a federal Choice neighborhood initiative, the study will not only make the case for connecting school reform and neighborhood development but also present a model that demonstrates how this can happen. The study will also make a strong case for the university’s unique role in fostering neo-collaborative structures fit to take on wicked problems of neighborhood distress and urban decline.
Following the fall of the Soviet Bloc in 1989, a somber Fidel Castro informed the Cuban
people that their Revolution hovered on the brink of disaster. Faced with an
unprecedented economic crisis and few options, the Cuban government, reluctantly
returned to international tourism as the foundation for economic salvation. Since then
international tourism has multiplied fifteen-fold. While reintroducing tourism may have
saved Cuba from a political and economic catastrophe – foreign tourists, mostly from
capitalist countries, have enabled Cuba and the Revolution to survive – this use of
capitalism to save socialism has also produced formidable challenges. In particular, the
emergence of a consumer culture and the subsequent ‘‘dollarization’’ of the economy, pose
a grave threat to Cuban society as products are increasingly evaluated, purchased, and
consumed on the basis of their symbolic content and meaning for social status.
Nonetheless, it will be argued in this paper that since Cuban society remains anchored by
highly functional, stable, well-organized neighborhoods and a flourishing, innovative
informal economy, embedded values of cooperation may serve as a counteractive force to
the rise of a culture of consumerism and materialism. Based on this premise, the paper
concludes with an examination of three possible scenarios for the future of tourism in
This paper examines the efforts of the UB Center for Urban Studies to build a university assisted community school centered neighborhood development initiative in the Fruit Belt, a distresses community in Buffalo, New York. The goal is to turn Futures Academy (School 37), a traditional Pre- K through 8th grade public school into a university-assisted community school that drives the neighborhood regeneration process in the Fruit Belt.
The purpose of this essay is to contribute to the development of the Penn Thesis by identifying the major challenges that must be overcome to advance Dewey’s goal of transforming the United States into a socially just, participatory, democratic society.
By focusing on a federal Choice neighborhood initiative, this study will not only make the case for connecting school reform and neighborhood development but also present a model that demonstrates how this can happen. The study will also make a stronger case for the university’s unique role in fostering neo-collaborative structures fit to take on wicked problems of neighborhood distress and urban decline.