In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Clarksdale High School student Shamia Hopper works on a chemical equation at the dry marker board in her Clarksdale, Miss., classroom. City leaders ho

 

              In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Clarksdale High School student Shamia Hopper works on a chemical equation at the dry marker board in her Clarksdale, Miss., classroom. City  leaders ho
In this Feb. 15, 2013 photograph, Clarksdale High School student Shamia Hopper works on a chemical equation at the dry marker board in her Clarksdale, Miss., classroom. City leaders hope improved education will help stanch a hemorrhaging population. The city's nine public schools may also be the crossroads of Mississippi's education system as state lawmakers are considering a new route, one characterized by charter schools, teacher merit pay, a tougher statewide curriculum, state-paid preschool classes and an intensive focus on reading for young students. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)