Middle-class public schools may be falling short on teacher pay, per-pupil spending and student achievement when compared with poor and well-off schools, according to a new report by Democratic think tank Third Way. "Middle-class schools produce students who are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and they are not performing as well as parents, policy makers and taxpayers think they are," said Tess Stovall, who is co-author of the report and deputy director of Third Way's economic program. "We need a second phase of education reform to ensure these schools get the attention they deserve."

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