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Most students hate assigned seating. However, in Karen Hull's classroom at the Little River School in Kansas, the students requested it over and over. That's because Hull, a middle school language arts and social studies teacher, grouped her students by learning styles.

It began as a typical teenage scuffle: someone said something about someone's girlfriend, whose friends felt compelled to retaliate.

The FUTURE ARRIVES IN WEST Philadelphia on Sept. 7, a first-of-its-kind building and concept in the world of how K-12 public school should operate.

The headlines can be brutal: School superintendent arrested. Officials say embezzlement scheme netted $8 million. And suddenly a Google search turns up criticism of the district's practice not just from standard media articles, but CPA newsletters, trade publications and professional blogs.

Here are some things we know about higher education in America: how much it costs, which majors are popular, the number of Ph.D.s on the faculty. Here's something we don't know: whether students are learning.




Q: One might think the job of superintendent in a school system with Rockford's demographics and achievement levels would be easier than most. Is it?