A new poll says that confidence in U.S. public schools has dropped to the lowest level in nearly four decades, the Associated Press reports. Twenty-nine percent of those questioned in a Gallup poll said they had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in public schools. Forty percent had some confidence while 30 percent expressed little or none. When Gallup first measured confidence in public schools in 1973, 58 percent reported having a strong belief in the country's educational system. Since then, that number has steadily tracked downward…

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staff and wire services reports