NATION : School Reforms Backed, Poll Finds

From Times wire services

A majority of Americans are ready for "tradition-shattering" educational reform and would support higher taxes for schools as well as an array of changes such as a national curriculum and the doctrine of choice favored by President Bush, a poll showed today.

The 21st annual Gallup-Phi Delta Kappa poll of attitudes on public education also found Americans still consider drug use to be the major problem facing their local schools, continuing a trend that began in 1986.

The proportion of Americans giving their local schools a grade of A or B rose to 43%, up from 40% last year and a low of 31% in 1983. Four percent said their local schools deserved an F, the same as the last two years.

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