High school teacher Alison Hanks-Sloan tried every way she could to stop 20 immigrant students from dropping out. She and a group of teachers gave them career counseling, visited their homes, and even brought in business leaders to explain how much more money they could make with a diploma.
But at the end of the school year, in 2002, Hanks-Sloan, a teacher in Prince George's County, was crushed: Three-quarters of the students still dropped out. She would later see them busing tables in restaurants.
"I just remember this sense of guilt," she said. "I thought about my Miguel, my Jose, my Abdi."
Those faces haunted her, symbolizing the problems...