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The nonprofit America's Promise Alliance of which Colin Powell is the founding chair, this morning released a report titled Cities in Crisis: A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation, which disputes the notion that 85 percent of all high school students get their diplomas. Says the study, it's more like 70 percent -- though in Dallas, it's far, far below that figure. Indeed, of the 50 major metropolitan areas included in the study, Dallas ranks 44th, with a graduation rate of 44.4 percent -- for the 2003-2004 school year, at least. But, notes the study, there are "striking differences between schools situated in urban and suburban environments." --Robert Wilonsky