Education Secretary Arne Duncan is joining forces with two unlikely allies, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to push cities to fix failing schools, the Associated Press reports. The trio will visit Philadelphia, New Orleans and Baltimore later this year. They plan to add more stops as their tour progresses.

"These are cities that have real challenges but also tremendous hope and opportunity," Duncan told reporters on a conference call Thursday.

The idea came from a meeting they had with President Barack Obama in May at the White House. Education is high on Obama's priority...

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