The Corner

Education

Progressives and College

In a weirdly adversarial review of an essay collection on American education that is not especially polemical, Peter Cunningham writes, “Princeton-educated Ramesh Ponnuru argues against college for all even though no progressive I know argues for it.”

So . . . 1) My essay doesn’t treat the idea of college-for-all as a distinctively progressive idea. It treats it as an idea that has had wide influence on the culture and on policymakers of both parties. I mention two politicians by name who subscribe to versions of the idea: a former Republican president and a former Democratic president. 2) The sentence contains an implicit argument that is addressed in the essay. 3) This implicit argument, coming from a progressive, pushes in the direction of college-for-all. 4) May I introduce Mr. Cunningham to Vox?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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