Education: Blackboard Jungle

A TIME correspondent revisits his troubled alma mater

In its 94-year history, Los Angeles' San Fernando High School has turned out enough distinguished graduates to fill a classroom. They include Heisman Trophy winner Charles White, former National League Rookie of the Year Gary Matthews, University of Louisville basketball coach Denny Crum and rock-'n'- roll legend Ritchie Valens. San Fernando also produced Xavier Velazquez, an honor student and school vice president who was one of a group of students who met with President George Bush last year to discuss education. But Velazquez, a senior who hopes to attend M.I.T. in the fall, is one of the fortunate few: roughly half...

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