And speaking of Andres Alonso, he is the guest blogger this week on Audacious Ideas, a blog by the Open Society Institute that discusses possible solutions to Baltimore's social ills. His entry is called "The City and the Neighborhood as School."
Alonso tells me he'll be in Washington Tuesday morning for the announcement of the mother of urban education awards, the Broad Prize, which gives $500,000 for college scholarships to students in the nation's most improved school district. Four finalists each receive $125,000. (As the press release helpfully points out, "Broad" rhymes with "road." The money comes from the Broad Foundation, established by billionaire Eli Broad.)
The New York City Department of Education, where Alonso was deputy chancellor overseeing instruction before heading south to Baltimore this summer, is in the running for the prize. The competition: Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Long Beach Unified School District (which won in 2003), and San Antonio's Northside Independent School District.
This is NYC's third time as a finalist. If Alonso can make the changes he envisions in Baltimore, maybe someday we'll be a contender, too.