Education: Gambling on Open Admissions

Jammed with 190,000 students, the 18 campuses of New York City's municipal university last week looked like 18 Grand Central stations during the height of rush hour. Classes met in auditoriums and converted storefronts, a synagogue and a onetime indoor hockey rink. With surprising fervor, the City University of New York (CUNY) had set out to help break the poverty cycle of young people—both white and black —who graduate with serious educational deficiencies from the city's high schools each year. Under its new "open admissions" policy, CUNY was taking such students despite their academic shortcomings, even admitting some of them directly...

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