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Broad school reform backed

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A large majority of Americans favor improving public high schools through district-wide reform rather than fixing one high school at a time, a new poll says.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted by Washington D.C.-based Widmeyer Research and Polling for Carnegie Corporation of New York as a part of its “Schools for a New Society” initiative.

Almost three in four adults say “some” of their high schools are failing to provide proper education for their students and urgent reform is needed.

Most respondents were not satisfied with providing particular attention to a small number of schools, saying instead that all urban public high schools should be improved simultaneously, the poll says.

In order for reforms to be successful, they must have full community support in the form of community partnerships, respondents say, and four in five say members of the community should share the responsibility for improvement.

Carnegie’s “Schools for a New Society” initiative, launched in 2001, is carrying out large-scale educational reform by providing grants of $8 million to $12 million to secondary schools in seven urban communities.

The initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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