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'Raising the Curve': 8 stories from a struggling elementary school

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A University of Missouri study for first-graders included a math portion

University of Missouri/AP

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2. Extra effort by the principal

As the school year began, David Hay, the principal of Brookside Elementary School, was fighting rumors that he was leaving. (He told Berler he was planning to stay three more years). Hay was perpetually worried over testing and money troubles but often browsed the Internet for science or math websites he thought the teachers could use in the clasroom. "It had gotten to the point at which it was almost a hobby," Berler wrote. "When he found a website he liked, he sent a mass e-mail to his faculty with the link. A few teachers used them. Most, he suspected, deposited them in a file and never looked at them again. He shrugged. 'You try,' he said."

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