A recurring ad on the tv lately talks about the things we need to do to improve education. They mention investing in new buildings and up-to-date technology. But their takeaway is investment in teachers: better preparation, support, etc. OK, but wait.... Nobody (ever?) mentions the real and most serious problem: children going to school who live in poverty. If we ended child poverty, the other things would pretty much take care of themselves I suspect. Finland did it, and so could we, but we have to first shed our national cultural fantasy that poverty is a natural part of the social and cultural landscape.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
On NPR's Morning Edition this morning, a reporter called attention to the idea that the new "right-to-work" laws just put in place in Michigan would cause the unions to lose, among other things, "clout." Doesn't the use of this negative-affect word prejudice the reporting? What sort of "clout" are we talking about? Does collective bargaining for the benefit of workers, who are otherwise at the mercy of amoral corporations, really constitute "clout?" Especially when the collective bargaining leads to better wages, enhanced benefits, safer working conditions (which also benefits employers), and so on? Implying that these are the result of having "clout" is the wrong way to frame this discourse, in my (linguist's) opinion.