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Chicago Sun-Times

'Best schools' include area's richest, poorest 
By Maudlyne Ihejirika

Providence St. Mel on Chicago's West Side and Hinsdale Central High in the southwest suburbs represent the poorest and wealthiest of 12 schools profiled in a new book as among the nation's best.

The private college prep in poverty-stricken Garfield Park and the Hinsdale public high school serving the 32nd richest zip code in the nation are both offered as evidence that schools that emphasize character development along with scholastic performance can dramatically improve student achievement.

"Those two could not possibly be more different, yet they enjoy the outcomes that can be harnessed by an extraordinary school culture committed to student character," said Samuel Casey Carter, author of On Purpose: How Great School Cultures Form Strong Character, released this week...

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