Education: How To Tackle School Reform

Three states rise to the challenge and provide valuable lessons

The facts are shocking. An estimated 13% of America's 17-year-olds -- and perhaps 40% of minority youths the same age -- are functionally illiterate. In the six years since the federally sponsored A Nation at Risk report warned of a "rising tide of mediocrity" in U.S. schools, average combined scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) have risen only slightly, from 893 to 904. Despite a 46% jump in the average amount that local, state and federal governments spend per pupil, the percentage of high school students who graduate has actually dropped, from 73.3% to 71.1%. "We are standing still," Education...

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