Education: Crossroads at CUNY

For more than a century, New York's City College has enjoyed the reputation of a top-level school, a proletarian Harvard with such distinguished graduates as Felix Frankfurter, Jonas Salk, Bernard Malamud, Ira Gershwin and Alfred Kazin. In recent years, however, City College and the 19 other institutions that make up the tuition-free City University of New York (CUNY) have found it increasingly difficult to keep up their standards. Reason: a 1969 ruling that opened the doors of the university to any student holding a high-school diploma from New York City's school system, which graduates many functional illiterates. Result: CUNY was swamped...

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