We're all already familiar with the idea of networks of charter schools (like KIPP) and small groups of private schools (Cristo Rey), but what about franchising magnet schools as well? That's the idea that Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan is apparently floating, according to this Catalyst Magazine article (here), which would "franchise" some of the city's most popular selective enrollment schools in order to create more seats for high-achieving kids. With varying degrees of success, Chicago already clones charter schools as a way to get around the charter cap....


Looking over the annual awards for alternative weeklies I came across this education-related item from the Orlando Weekly:: Atomic Prom, which lists the top 10 party high schools in America. "Newsweek has published a list of 100 American high schools that “do the best job of preparing average students for college.” But college is about far more than learning..." There's also lots of more serious-minded stuff you can check it out here....


If you think it's just the free, government-paid tutoring that is sometimes problematic, check out this Law.com article (Law.com - Sylvan Center Told to Refund Tutoring Costs) about how a New York City mom says she borrowed $11k to get both her kids tutoring, but didn't see as much improvement as promised in Sylvan marketing materials. So she sued. And the preliminary findings went in her favor. Of course, most states promise kids an education, and not all of them get that, either....


The news is at least a week old, but I would be remiss if I failed to notice that the infamous Howie Schaffer, who authored and popularized the PEN Weekly Newsblast e-newsletter and has been a great friend to this blog, is off to Diversity Best Practices, an organization dedicated to "improving cultural and racial sensitivity in the workplace." Longtime readers will recall that Schaffer was profiled as one of the HotSeat interviews early last year, in which he opined on all sorts of interesting things. "On the HotSeat, "SuperHowie" Schaffer slams empty school reform ideas and lame blogs, comes ...


Parents and teachers (and Harry Potter fans) would do well to remember that the latest (last) Potter book is out at midnight Thursday, according to Chicagoist (Libraries Gear up for Potter mania). "Unless you’ve been living under a rock since February, you already know that the seventh and final chapter in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows, will be released on July 21 at 12:01 a.m."...


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