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Public schools contribute to the problem of today's urban youth and must do a better job of educating students. There is a substantial consensus among educators and parents about how schools can be made to work for disadvantaged and minority students in big cities, but better inner-city schools are unlikely given today's methods of financing and governance. Better schools are possible only if we make a major change in what is meant by a public school.

Originally published in: Urban America, RAND Corporation, 1992, pp. 127-151.

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