Jordan Nolan didn’t have to show up after school on a Friday in late May for a discussion about the invisible children of Uganda. Neither did about 30 other teenagers sprawled on couches and chairs in a classroom at Walter Payton College Prep High School in Chicago.
But after a brief presentation by four students, they engaged in a spirited, hour-long debate about just whose responsibility it is to try to end a civil war fought with kidnapped child soldiers.
The turnout wasn’t surprising, not even at the end of a week near the end of the school year.
Not at a public high school that’s an American showcase for how to prepare young people for a globally competitive economy in the 21century.
While the national and international conversation grows louder about how to define a world-class education, Payton is a real-life laboratory.