Education Secretary Arne Duncan is joining forces with two unlikely allies, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to push cities to fix failing schools, the Associated Press reports. The trio will visit Philadelphia, New Orleans and Baltimore later this year. They plan to add more stops as their tour progresses.
"These are cities that have real challenges but also tremendous hope and opportunity," Duncan told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
The idea came from a meeting they had with President Barack Obama in May at the White House. Education is high on Obama’s priority list. He is seeking to boost achievement, keep kids from dropping out of high school and push every student to pursue some form of higher education. The president has vowed to make the United States the world leader in the number of people who graduate from college. He argues that students who do better in school will help themselves in a work force that increasingly depends on high-skilled jobs, and that the country will benefit as well…

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