Opinion: How Cincinnati boosted graduation rates

As of 2007, Cincinnati has eliminated the disparity in the graduation rates of its white and black students, while increasing its overall graduation rate from 51% in 2000 to 79% last year. School leaders turned the system around by creating smaller learning communities, respecting teachers' opinions and leadership, providing quality professional development and emphasizing accountability and student service-learning, writes Joe Nathan, who directs the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities' Center for School Change.

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