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Chicago Expands College and Career Coaching for High Schools

Chicago is putting career coaches in high schools to help students prepare for and get jobs or work-related credentials.

The district liked the results of its 2005 initiative to place college coaches in some schools; apparently, the 12 schools with those coaches do better sending kids to college than schools without them.

So the district decided to expand on that model by adding career coaches as well, according to an article in Catalyst-Chicago. Fifty schools have the coaches now, and 17 more are in line to have them next year, the magazine reports.

The Chicago coaching program was launched by Greg Darnieder when he headed the district's postsecondary work. Since he's now the U.S. Department of Education's point man on college access, could the college-and-career coach idea get more national traction?

If you feel like mulling over more possibilities of what lies ahead for high schools, ask yourself what Education Secretary Arne Duncan is likely to do about those dropout factories he keeps highlighting in speeches.

Today's New York Times asks how likely the much-ballyhooed "turnaround" approach is to, er, turn around schools. It quotes some Chicago veterans of Duncan's reconstitution approach to failing schools, noting how one neighborhood opponent of the tactic at Orr High School became a convert once he got acquainted with the new leadership team there.

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