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Special Report: The Unequal State of America - Why education is no longer the "great equalizer"

Tanner Skenderian poses for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian poses for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian poses for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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David Duorval (L) talks to his son Curtis in his kitchen in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

David Duorval (L) talks to his son Curtis in his kitchen in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

David Duorval (L) talks to his son Curtis in his kitchen in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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A statue of Horace Mann, with the inscription "Father of the American Public School System" etched on its plinth, stands outside the State House in Boston, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A statue of Horace Mann, with the inscription "Father of the American Public School System" etched on its plinth, stands outside the State House in Boston, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A statue of Horace Mann, with the inscription "Father of the American Public School System" etched on its plinth, stands outside the State House in Boston, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Curtis Dorval (R) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval (R) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval (R) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Curtis Dorval (L) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval (L) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval (L) watches his father David sew him a costume at his father's home in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Tanner Skenderian reads a schoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian reads a schoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian reads a schoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Tanner Skenderian reads a shoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian reads a shoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Tanner Skenderian reads a shoolbook while posing for a photograph in the yard at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts October 12, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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Curtis Dorval sits in the kitchen of his father's house in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval sits in the kitchen of his father's house in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Curtis Dorval sits in the kitchen of his father's house in Leominster, Massachusetts October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
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