In the sunlit library at Jorge Prieto Elementary on Chicago’s’ northwest side, an experiment is under way.
A provisional classroom has been set up. A white board sits at the front of the room, and 20 eighth-graders are seated at library tables. Math teacher Michael Hock is giving a lesson about the distributive property.
Scattered throughout the room are some 30 other teachers. They aren’t wearing lab coats—but they might as well be. They clutch clipboards and carefully monitor kids’ reactions to the teacher’s explanations, peering over students’ shoulders as they write answers.
“What is the area of the garden?” Hock asks students as he points to an illustration on the white board. “Nestor, I haven’t heard from you today.”