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Pat Driscoll on The Campbell Conversations

By Grant Davis Reeher


Syracuse's Say Yes to Education Program was introduced three years ago with great expectations. Words like "transformative" were used to describe the hoped-for impact of this program that mixes an extensive in-class and extra-curricular support network with the ultimate promise of free college tuition. The program has had past success elsewhere in targeting smaller numbers of children within a school, but it's never been applied to an entire school district. Three years on, is it realizing its promise? The question is particularly timely, as the program is slated to be financed solely by the city in 2013, and it would then account for ten percent of the entire school budget. Pat Driscoll, the operations director for the program, addresses these issues, and also discusses just what makes the program so different from previous efforts to overcome the educational challenges that disadvantaged students face.

Grant Reeher is Director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute and a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He is also creator, host and program director of “The Campbell Conversations” on WRVO, a weekly regional public affairs program featuring extended in-depth interviews with regional and national writers, politicians, activists, public officials, and business professionals.