What if failure really were not an option?
Geoffrey Canada is adamant in his answer: People would succeed. They wouldn’t give up, they would work harder, and, when it comes to schools, they wouldn’t keep doing the same unsuccessful things over and over.
“When it’s clear that failure won’t be tolerated or accepted, you know what happens? People stop failing,” Canada told more than 500 people Friday at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. He was the keynote speaker at a national conference of the Alliance for Children and Families, a Milwaukee-based organization for human services organizations.
Canada is the founder and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a birth-through-college set of programs focused on getting children in a 97-block area of New York’s Harlem to earn college diplomas. He has become a national celebrity as a crusader for such efforts. He is featured in the new, controversial movie, “Waiting for ‘Superman.’ ”
Canada said things Friday that would leave people from most anywhere on the political spectrum saying, no way, can’t be done, he’s crazy. Teachers, major politicians, rich people, low-income people – he said things all would dislike.