Letters: 'Diversity Fatigue,' Exit Exams, Signs of Spring
NEAL CONAN, host:
It's Tuesday and the day we read from your emails.
Our discussion about diversity fatigue prompted this comment from Rick Boggs in Los Angeles County.
"I thank you for covering the subject of diversity, but I think you overlooked a very important group. Approximately 17 percent of all Americans have some form of disability, according to ADA guidelines. For your show to advance the discussion of diversity without even mentioning visually impaired persons, mobility impaired persons, hard of hearing persons, or any potential workforce members with any disability at all, simply reveals how much work remains to be done in the way of making American companies truly diverse.
"I think that it is too early to be talking about diversity fatigue or any sort of weariness with diversity. Some of us small business owners are managing to do it. I refuse to believe that corporate America has any justifiable reason for their lack of progress."
Lana Matthews, in Denver, wrote in response to our program about exit exams for graduating high school seniors.
"As an ex-professor and researcher concerning tests, I've seen nothing but damage done by our fascination and dependence on trying to sum up the concept of knowledge and intelligence with simplistic multiple answer tests. These tests demand that every student be good at every subject, which is not practical, and keeps those that can give to society in specific areas from doing so.
"Expecting everyone to be able to have perfect grammar and perfect math skills under a pressured time deadline is unrealistic, and indeed, misses the point of education, which is to find the areas that children excel in and then help them find, within those areas, something they would love to do with their lives, while also rounding out their education so they can indeed participate in a democracy."
And finally, last week's request for surefire signs of spring generated much more email than we had time to get to.
Gustavo Navarro, an auto mechanic in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, wrote:
"My sure sign of spring has always been brake jobs, brake jobs and more brake jobs. As soon as temperatures allow drivers who've cocooned themselves in their cars with the windows up and the radios turned up to lower their windows and hear the unmistakable squeak of brake wear indicators singing."
Bill Iddings, in Muskegon, Michigan, said the first signs of spring on the western shore of Lake Michigan are the free sand signs that sprout up in yards across from the Lake Michigan Beach at Pierre Marquette Park. High winds off the big lake blow sand into yards throughout the winter, he wrote. Dunes pile up and need removal once the snow melts, to say nothing of the driveways that regularly disappear and have to be cleared. Come mid-March, the free sand signs rise and bloom in the hopes that someone else will show up, shovel in hand, to haul that stuff away.
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