California

Big-city school districts play a critical role in educating America’s children. Although there are almost 17,000 public school districts in the United States, just 100 of them serve 23 percent of all students, 30 percent of economically disadvantaged students, and 40 percent of students from racial minorities.

Elementary schools that educate children at risk of academic failure have traditionally responded by offering remedial instruction that slows the pace of learning. Research suggests, however, that remediation makes it harder for students to catch up and join the educational mainstream.

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