Challenge To the Concept of Elite

This was enough to convince many of the schools’ supporters that a lowering of standards was in the making. Such fears were aggravated by the fact that, for several years, some gifted and highly motivated disadvantaged youngsters — most of them black and Puerto Rican who might not have done sufficiently well in the standard tests—had been admitted as part of a “Discovery” program, similar to those long used by many elite colleges. Last fall, the four schools admitted 3,484 regular contestants in the competition plus 352 Discovery students. Over‐all, enrollment at the four schools, on the average, is 25 percent nonwhite, compared with 5.1 percent for all of the city’s academic high schools.