STARTING FROM SCRATCH

WHEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE GIVEN THE FREEDOM AND RESOURCES TO TEST BOLD NEW IDEAS, GOOD THINGS CAN HAPPEN. HERE ARE THE SUCCESS STORIES OF THREE SCHOOLS IN THREE DIFFERENT PLACES

Wichita, Kans. A NOBLE SCHEME TAKES ROOT IN A HUMBLE PART OF TOWN

Orchard Hills is a neighborhood that seems to be several steps behind the times and half a step ahead of a trailer park. The people who live in this scruffy, working-class section of Wichita are mostly poor. Many of the streets are unpaved, and most of the one-story aluminum-sided cottages look as if they would blow to pieces in a stiff wind. Until three years ago, the local school was in equally sad shape, plagued by some of the lowest grades and worst attendance rates in the city....

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