Jerry Mornvil, a recent graduate of Columbia High School in Maplewood, N.J., says being in a lower-level class had a negative impact on his own and his classmates' attitudes about school and themselves. Nancy Solomon for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Nancy Solomon for NPR

A Waffle House in Bishopville, S.C., with topiaries created by Pearl Fryar. Bill Chappell/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Bill Chappell/NPR