• STEVEN BALSAM

    As an academic researcher who is the embodiment of his immigrant parent’s American Dream I’m not sure what to make of this research. I am the “counterfactual”, that is, i.e, grew up working poor, and am now comfortably upper middle class. I am a product of New York City public schools, including the City University of New York, when class sizes were larger and less money was spent on education. If I had to speculate on the reasons for my success it was (1) parenting and (2) teachers, in that order. As the author of this article alludes to “policy”, I’ll say that policy matters only to the extent that it creates opportunity, like putting students first – there is some debate whether our politicians do (see recent California litigation, debate regarding charter schools).