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About half of all incoming ninth graders in urban districts will fail classes and drop out of school without a diploma. Failing at School starts with the premise that urban American high schools generate such widespread student failure not because of some fault of the students who attend them but because high schools were designed to stratify achievement and let only the top performers advance to higher levels of education. This is particularly true for low-income, racial/ethnic minority students. To get different results, Farrington proposes fundamental changes based on what we now know about how students learn, what motivates them to engage in learning, and what kinds of educational systems and structures would best support their learning.