Integration: Bending Standards

"Get an education" is the traditional U.S. answer to poverty and inequality. As a result, thousands of Negro youngsters are trying to enter public colleges across the country. But if they fail to qualify, often because they went to poor high schools, how can the colleges admit them without diluting their own academic standards? More deeply, how can the colleges give blacks a break without suffering a white backlash?

Last week those questions were painfully dramatized at City College of New York, a longtime symbol of salvation for bright, needy students. In recent years, rising applications have forced tuition-free C.C.N.Y....

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