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  •  Stiglitz at the macro level. Hirsch at the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, ybruti, Dogs are fuzzy

    how-do-we-raise-our-kids level.

    This is over at City Journal, published by the sometimes-sane Rightie Manhattan Institute. They have four of five writers over there worth reading for middle-length pieces. Gelinas's pieces on New Orleans are worth a couple hours, going back and reading through them, if you want to understand what's happening with NOLA and Ray Nagin's environment.

    A Wealth of Words

     E. D. Hirsch, Jr.
    A Wealth of Words
    The key to increasing upward mobility is expanding vocabulary.
    Winter 2013

    A number of notable recent books, including Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality and Timothy Noah’s The Great Divergence, lay out in disheartening detail the growing inequality of income and opportunity in the United States, along with the decline of the middle class. The aristocracy of family so deplored by Jefferson seems upon us; the counter-aristocracy of merit that long defined America as the land of opportunity has receded

    ...But we should factor in another cause of receding economic equality: the decline of educational opportunity. There’s a well-established correlation between a college degree and economic benefit. And for guidance on what helps students finish college and earn more income, we should consider the SAT, whose power to predict graduation rates is well documented. The way to score well on the SAT—at least on the verbal SAT—is to have a large vocabulary. As the eminent psychologist John Carroll once observed, the verbal SAT is essentially a vocabulary test.... Vocabulary size is a convenient proxy for a whole range of educational attainments and abilities—not just skill in reading, writing, listening, and speaking but also general knowledge of science, history, and the arts. If we want to reduce economic inequality in America, a good place to start is the language-arts classroom.

    And if we have children, that is where the start needs be, if we are to protect our children going forward.

    A 15-minute read. 4,300 words. Bump up the typeface to TNR 16-point and it goes to 10 pages. Priceless.

    "The Wealth of Words" is a road map that references just why and how these processes work.

    It also explains a large part of why minority students get hammered. Get to 12th Grade on the outside, it's a tough life. For any kid, immersion in no-reading entertainments is a frightening competitor to the processes that transfer civilization.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012 "Have you left no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Army/McCarthy 1954

    by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 05:15:56 AM PST

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