Schools: As Private as Public Can Be

Is it a lavish Los Angeles motel? A used Thunderbird lot? Or Steve Mc Queen's palatial pad? No, it is Beverly Hills High School, a pink stucco hacienda that boasts 1,750 over-achieving students, a producing oil well on the premises, a summer school in France and spotless academic credentials. Gloats one teacher: "It's the nearest thing to a private school that a public school can be."

Such is the lure of Beverly Hills High that it outdraws the beach even in July. This year 80% of its kids are shunning sunning for learning at fulltime summer school; a couple of dozen...

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