When Arne Duncan gave his final speech as secretary of education last December – much more of an emotional plea than a formal administrative task – he did so from the basement of a church on the South Side of Chicago.
The congregation had just mourned the death of Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old boy who was lured into an alley and executed by gang members after playing at a nearby park. The incident, though heartbreaking, wasn’t unique. As Duncan, who labored through the speech in tears, noted, through the first six years of his time in Washington, more than 16,000 young people in the U.S. were killed by guns.
Chicago has become the epicenter of such violence. August was the deadliest month on record for the city in more than 20 years. The homicide tally, as recorded by the Chicago Tribune, stands at 507 – already 50 percent more than last year, and eclipsing the current count in New York City and Los Angeles, combined... .
“Research has shown that community violence has large, short-term impacts on children’s attention and impulse control, both of which are central to students’ ability to learn in school,” says Dana Charles McCoy, assistant professor of education at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, who has studied the impact of neighborhood environments on the development of children’s cognitive and socioemotional skills....
Read more at U.S. News and World Report.