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When I was in junior high school in Brooklyn in the 1960s, the really smart kids in science and math took a grueling citywide test required for entrance to New York City’s three elite high schools: Brooklyn Tech, The Bronx High School of Science and Stuyvesant, in Manhattan.

Those three schools were — and continue to be — jewels of the City. Their graduates, often children of poor immigrants or immigrants themselves, have gone on to enrich the nation through their considerable achievements, earning Nobel Prizes and hundreds of other prestigious awards along the way.

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