[caption id="attachment_32439" align="alignleft" width="124" caption="Only about 70 percent of high school freshmen go on to graduate, the White House says."]Only about 70 percent of high school freshmen go on to graduate, the White House says.[/caption]

The Obama administration is offering a $900 million carrot to the nation’s school systems to tackle what many view as an abysmal dropout rate that threatens America’s ability to compete in the new global economy. But it’s the “stick” portion of the administration’s plan that has rankled many educators.

Districts would get the money only if they agree to...

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