In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Clarksdale High School chemistry instructor Victoria Dawson encourages her class to solve their equations at the board in Clarksdale, Miss. City leaders hope improved... more 
In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Clarksdale High School chemistry instructor Victoria Dawson encourages her class to solve their equations at the board in Clarksdale, Miss. City leaders hope improved education will help stanch a hemorrhaging population. The city's nine public schools may also be the crossroads of Mississippi's education system as state lawmakers are considering a new route, one characterized by charter schools, teacher merit pay, a tougher statewide curriculum, state-paid preschool classes and an intensive focus on reading for young students. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) less 
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Associated Press | Photo By Rogelio V. Solis
Mon, May 6, 2013 1:53 PM EDT