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The Education of Jose Garcia

Jose Garcia never thought he’d be the one writing directions on the board in room 105.

“I didn’t expect to be here,” he says on the first day of classes at Rauner College Prep, one of the 16 campuses of the Noble Street Network of Charter Schools, the city’s largest network of publicly-funded, privately-run high schools.

There’s a whole generation of Joses in Chicago now.  Students who were part of a grand experiment launched in the late 1990s. An experiment that bet that public schools free from Chicago Public Schools bureaucracy, with no unions, strict discipline and an unrelenting focus on college, could get more low-income, students of color to succeed.

Now, Jose is now part of a new step in that movement. He is going to be a teacher at his old school. He doesn’t have a license or a degree in education.

For the next two years, Jose will be part of new graduate program Noble created in partnership with the Relay Graduate School of Education, which is taking a radical new approach to training teachers.