Public Schools: Big-City Answers

Washington, D.C., last week closed the books on a school year that made respectable progress in answers to the big-city public school headache: how to turn out ever-brighter graduates from incoming students whose average cultural level drops as the proportion of underprivileged Negroes rises. With a student body now 88% Negro, Superintendent Carl Hansen, 59, has mixed innovation and firmness effectively on a big scale. Some of the methods:

>A system of four "tracks"—basic, general, college-prep and honors—finds for every student a place that matches his ability, although it differs from "ability...

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