Providence public schools are bracing for a state takeover in the wake of a bruising report by Johns Hopkins researchers. The report detailed abysmal literacy and math scores, crumbling buildings, and high rates of teacher and student absenteeism. It also raised concerns about student safety, racial disparities, tangled bureaucracy, and school culture. Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green told The Public's Radio the state may consider closing certain schools.

This is the first time Rhode Island will use its power to seize control of an entire district. And the move raises questions about what it actually takes to turn a school system around.

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