In a past column I discussed some of the controversy surrounding the University of Michigan's admissions practices, where blacks and Hispanics are given points based solely on race, and where whites are turned away to admit blacks and Hispanics with much lower academic qualifications.
A few weeks before that, my column discussed the deplorable conditions in Washington, D.C.'s high schools. At 12 of its 19 high schools, more than 50 percent of the students test below basic in reading, and at some of those schools the percentages approached 80 percent. At 15 of these schools, over 50 percent test below basic in math. And in 12 of them, 70 percent to 99 percent do so. Each year, more than 80 percent