Remedial Class Struggle

joshua william mason jwm7 at
Mon Jun 1 15:26:07 PDT 1998

>Carrol Cox wrote:
>>Where could one get more information about the Manhattan institute,
>>particularly on the advice about college students?
>I was afraid you'd ask that. I got this bit of intelligence from Josh
>Mason. Josh, you here?

Jeez, you write something in In These Times, you don't expect to have to actually back it up.

It's from a conversation I had with Heather McDonald, a Manhattan fellow and the City Journal's main writer on education, about two and a half years ago, during a previous round of attacks on CUNY. According to my notes, she said, "The upside of [budget] cuts might be that it forces the system to provide a college education rather than a high school education. People have been coming to CUNY who don't have the background to take advantage of a college education ... It would be a shame if qualified students found themselves unable to get an education, but on the other hand if unqualified students weren't able to go to college that would be a good thing--it would force high schools to work harder. ... They have a very radical affirmative action program for unqualified minority students, who should not be in college. Going to college is a privilege."

At that time I don't think even the Manhattan Institute was calling for the complete elimination of remediation--they seemed happy to see it limited to students' first year.


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