Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Patt Morrison for Wednesday, 3/17/10


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:39




1:41 – 1:58:30

New voice “On Language”

The New York Times Magazine’s “On Language” column has a new voice, lexicographer and linguist Ben Zimmer. Zimmer, who also serves as executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus and Vocabulary.com, has a big sentence structure to fill. He’ll succeed the late wordsmith William Safire, who founded the column in 1979 and was the regular columnist until he died last fall. Will the column change… we’ll find out this weekend when Ben Zimmer takes over.  



Ben Zimmer, linguist and lexicographer.  He is the new “On Language” columnist for the New York Times Magazine. 



  • He succeeds William Safire, who was the founding and regular columnist until his death last fall.
  • The column is a fixture in The Times Magazine and features commentary on the many facets – from grammar to usage – of our language.
  • “On Language” will appear bi-weekly beginning March 21.
  • He is also executive producer of VisualThesaurus.com http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/contributors/10?page=2 and Vocabulary.com



2:06 – 2:30

Race relations at the University of California in wake of UCSD’s “ghetto party”

The “Compton Cookout” party at an off-campus UC San Diego fraternity was clearly a doomed idea from the start—meant to be a prank that played up African American stereotypes, in the middle of Black History Month no less, the party touched off a firestorm of troubled race relations across the UC system.  In the wake of the “Compton Cookout” two more racially-motivated incidents were reported at UCSD and several more took place at other UC campuses, including a large picture of a noose drawn in a UC Santa Cruz bathroom.  Are race relations at the University of California really strained or are a small group of isolated antagonists to blame for bringing so much negative publicity upon the entire system?  UC leadership wasted no time in appointing the dean of UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall law school to investigate racial tensions, and he stops by Patt’s program to give his first impressions. 



Christopher Edley, dean of the UC Berkeley Boalt Hall law school; special advisor to UC President Mark Yudof on UC race relations


  • In his role as special advisor, Edley will assess and monitor the situation at UC San Diego and advise both the president and the chancellor as they evaluate current conditions and seek to address underlying causes.
  • Edley served as assistant director of domestic policy in the Carter Administration and was special counsel to the president in the Clinton Administration.
  • For 23 years he was a professor at the Harvard School of Law.




2:30 – 2:58:30

The rehabilitation—or gutting?—of No Child Left Behind begins

It was one of the first lightening rod issues of the Bush Administration and remains a source of huge controversy to this day, 9 years after it was first enacted:  The No Child Left Behind law, designed to measure the success rates of schools while holding them accountable in the process, resulted in one in three American schools being labeled as failing.  This week the Obama Administration begins its effort to remake NCLB in its image, retaining some of the Bush requirements for annual reading and math tests but instituting a different set of measurement standards.  There are also more carrots included, rewarding top performing schools and minimizing government interference in the reasonably well-run schools in the middle.  Just like the original NCLB, the Obama plan is also proving controversial—will it receive a passing grade in the eyes of the nation’s educators?



Margaret Spellings, former Secretary of Education in the Bush Administration and head of the Spellings and Company consulting firm


Rep. George Miller, D-California’s 7th District (Richmond, Vallejo); Chairman of the House Education & Labor Committee




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

89.3 KPCC-FM | 89.1 KUOR-FM | 90.3 KPCV-FM

626.583.5171, office

415.497.2131, mobile

jserviss@kpcc.org / jserviss@scpr.org



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