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

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Sean Locke/

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

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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