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Curriculum and Instruction News

Ladson-Billings speaks with Christian Science Monitor about value of on-site learning centers at Northport Apartments

August 28, 2017

The Christian Science Monitor recently published an article that puts the spotlight on a range of success stories that have come out of the Northport Apartments, a Section 8 housing development on Madison’s East Side.

The article is headlined, “On-site learning centers offer benefits to students -– and renters.” As the report explains, “At the heart of the 140-unit apartment complex, both physically and metaphorically, is a humble brick building that holds a roomful of computers, a few quiet meeting rooms, and a team of residents-turned-staff eager to help their neighbors succeed.”

Among the people interviewed for the report is UW-Madison’s Gloria Ladson-Billings, who holds the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education. She is a professor with the departments of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Policy Studies, and Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, and is the incoming president of the National Academy of Education.

The Christian Science Monitor reports: “Some of the Madison centers’ success may be due to the convenience they offer in a city that Gloria Ladson-Billings, a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education, describes as ‘asset-rich and access-poor.’ ” 

“We have everything in this town that you would want in a high-quality community,” she tells The Christian Science Monitor, “but the access to it is very, very poor for some people.”

One common challenge for low-income families, Ladson-Billings explains, is transportation. Others may lack the financial means to enroll their children in expensive educational programs.

“Having those centers right there on site means that’s one less barrier that people have to try to get over,” she tells the Christian Science Monitor.

To learn much more about what helps make these centers such a success, check out the entire report for free on this Christian Science Monitor web page.

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