Urban public schools have been failing to educate minority and low-income children in this country at tragic levels for more than two decades. In Detroit, for example, an estimated 55% of children leave school between 9th and 12th grades, with fewer than half of the remaining 45% going on to post-secondary studies. No larger domestic problem faces America than learning how to create equal educational opportunities for our urban children. Can Urban Schools Work? will examine the strategies that educational and political leaders have pursued to improve urban education over the past twenty years, seek to understand why they have failed to significantly improve outcomes, and explore promising new strategies that are emerging around the country to move urban high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates to suburban levels. As a participatory graduate seminar, the course will rely heavily on recent written analyses of urban education strategies and their impact, as well as on the appearance of educators and politicians who have played an important role in the education reform effort.