As I sat in my freshman dorm room tabbing through a list of PBHA programs during shopping week last year, one jumped out: the College High-school Alliance: A Nexus For Creative Education. According to the PBHA website, “CHANCE works with students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School to develop the desire, support, and motivation to gain admission to college and to succeed there and beyond.” I thought of my high school classmates and the strong and supportive community that they had found at CHANCE, and I pictured the three Harvard students who had given their time to my fifth-grade class through the CIVICS program, a program run jointly by the Institute of Politics and PBHA, which kindled a lasting interest in politics for me and many of my classmates.
We’re a city of dichotomies. Cambridge's population include 450 millionaires and 517 people experiencing homelessness. The Massachusetts Department of Education recently downgraded Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Accountability and Assistance Level ranking to Level 2 for “[n]ot meeting gap narrowing goals.” This means that while the overall number of students scoring above proficient met state standards, gaps in the results on the basis of race and socioeconomic status were too great. Crimson columns highlight the juxtaposition of homelessness and extreme wealth in Harvard Square. We have three Whole Foods locations, each in a census tract adjoining one of our three food deserts.