Urban Districts Grab the Spotlight

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Science  04 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5395, pp. 1802
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5395.1802

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The National Science Foundation's flagship educational effort--the Urban Systemic Initiatives program, launched in 1994 to target the 25 cities with the largest number of poor children in the country--has a big advantage over its statewide programs. City schools are usually run by a single administrator or school board--a definite advantage when you're trying to cut through layers of bureaucracy and overturn the status quo. State systemic efforts, in contrast, must negotiate among several, often competing, sources of power.