Roy Roberts, emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools, speaks at Amelia Earhart Elementary-Middle School. Roberts, a former General Motors executive, came out of retirement to try to fix the school system. Larry Abramson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Larry Abramson/NPR

Students leave Atlanta's Emma Hutchinson School in July. Hutchinson is a year-round school that has been identified as one of 44 schools involved in a test cheating scandal. John Bazemore/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Bazemore/AP

Robin Weems' son Jason (left) teaches kindergarten across the hall from his parents' first-grade class in Baltimore. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps

Many colleges are assigning all incoming freshman a common book to read and discuss in their first week on campus. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

Out of the 29 states in which at least 40 percent of graduates took the ACT, only Minnesota had more than half of its students meet at least three college-readiness benchmarks. ACT hide caption

itoggle caption ACT