Several of yesterday's news stories about the new Pope for the Catholic church made mention of the fact that the new Pope is a Jesuit. (The Jesuits are special order of Catholics known for their steely gaze and firm handshake, as well as their relatively rigorous brand of parochial education.)
But few if any noted that the Jesuits play a small but fascinating role in recent school reform history, via the Cristo Rey Network of schools, which is a 25-school model of education featuring a mix of Jesuit academics and work-study experiences that nominally help drive down tuition costs.
Yes, that's right. The new Pope comes with his own school reform model. I only know this because I wrote about the Chicago school for City Limits roughly a decade ago, and because Marvin Hoffman wrote about it again in 2008 for the Chicago Tribune.
Other reasons to want to know about this model? The Cristo Rey network has been supported for many years by the Gates Foundation. And it's spreading. See list of development sites here. Image via Vatican. Cross-posted from TWIE.