. What Happens When an Élite Public School Becomes Open to All? « JO LEE MAGAZINE

The New Yorker – Lowell, founded in 1856, is the oldest public high school in the West and a long-admired jewel of public education. A big seal on the building’s façade proclaims its status as a National Blue Ribbon School. In the front entrance, glass-framed boards display smiling head shots of illustrious alumni: Stephen Breyer, Alexander Calder, Jennifer Egan, Dian Fossey, Rube Goldberg, William Hewlett—the lists go on in every field. For decades, Lowell has been one of two public high schools in San Francisco to use selective admissions, with a grade- and test-score cutoff for most applicants. “They call us nerds, and I can’t refute that,” Catherine Hung, a junior, told me. “Lowell students will skip class to study for their next class.”…

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