Nine urban elementary schools that have served children of color in poor communities and achieved impressive academic results are the focus of this report released in December at the Department of Education's third regional Improving America's Schools conference in Chicago. "What stands out among these schools," said Education Secretary Richard Riley, "is a clear and unrelenting focus on high standards, a commitment to serving children and ensuring their academic success, and a collective sense of responsibility and persistence among school staff." Most of the 150-page report (126 pages) is devoted to in-depth case studies of these nine schools: Harriet A....

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