In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Superintendent Dennis Dupree says he hopes the two big grants the district has won will improve its high school and one of its two middle schools, vaulting them among the state's education leaders, at his Clarksdale, Miss., office. 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)

Associated Press
In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Superintendent Dennis Dupree says he hopes the two big grants the district has won will improve its high school and one of its two middle schools, vaulting them among the state's education leaders, at his Clarksdale, Miss., office.  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)
In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Superintendent Dennis Dupree says he hopes the two big grants the district has won will improve its high school and one of its two middle schools, vaulting them among the state's education leaders, at his Clarksdale, Miss., office. 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)
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