Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

“Kids in poverty need escape velocity”

Friday, April 30, 2010


I had the opportunity last night to listen to my old friend Eric Schwarz, the founder of Citizen Schools, share his vision for the future of education in America with the Reynolds Fellows at Harvard.

Based on his frustration that we have a lower graduation rate today than a generation ago, and that we are not giving kids enough time to learn or enough talented adults in their lives, Eric founded Citizen Schools in 1995. It embodies the principles of sharing strength by creating opportunities for citizen teachers who want to give back and who in effect constitute a second shift of educators who create expanded learning time.

Understanding that “kids in poverty need escape velocity” Citizen Schools is committed to surrounding middle school students with all of the resources they need to have a truly transformational experience. They are hopeful that the Department of Education’s Invest in Innovation Fund will help fuel Citizen Schools next phase of growth. If you are trying to bear witness to what is needed in education today, check them out at