“Harvard and the American Dream”

George Leef

That’s the title Richard Kahlenberg puts on his latest Innovations post.

As usual, he’s lamenting that the nation’s “elite” universities like Harvard don’t have more students from poorer backgrounds, thus, supposedly keeping them from realizing “the American Dream.”

Sorry, but possessing a degree from a prestigious university is not “the American Dream.” Being successful in life through your efforts seems to me to be what that phrase connotes, but having that degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for it.

People like Kahlenberg and former Harvard president Larry Summers, whom he quotes, act like the rooster who thought that his crowing caused the sun to rise. Degrees from our supposedly elite universities do not cause the people who get them to be successful.


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