October 14, 2013

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Monday, October 14, 2013

(Mike Liu/Shutterstock)


Today The Takeaway explores higher education, the government shutdown, the four-day work week and much more.


The Only Member of the GOP to Vote Against the Shutdown

Some lawmakers say they're not even sure what the fight in D.C. is about anymore. Joining The Takeaway is Virginia Republican Congressman Scott Rigell, who represents the state's 2nd district. He is the only GOP House member to vote with Democrats to avoid the shutdown. He's got a new plan to re-open the government, one that he thinks could garner bipartisan support.


Words for Congress: "Get Your Act Together."

It's the final countdown—for the government debt ceiling, at least. Unless Congress acts by October 17, the United States will default for the first time in the nation's history. With only a few day until the deadline, some of America's most important investors from abroad aren't too happy. Lord Digby Jones is former UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, and former head of the Confederation of British Industry. His words to Congress: "Get your act together."


The End of Women’s Colleges?

Today, like many women’s colleges, Mount Holyoke College is increasingly relying on the recruitment of international students to fill its seats. Studies show that less than three percent of women heading to college consider attending a single-sex school and with declining enrollment, trustees at a number of women-only colleges have voted to turn coed. Some say the women’s college business model is no longer sustainable, predicting that in the next 20 years there will only be four or five women’s colleges left. But not everyone agrees with this assessment. The Takeaway considers the future of women’s colleges with the President of the Mount Holyoke College, Lynn Pasquerella, and WGBH’s higher education reporter, Kirk Carapezza.


Big Changes Coming to the GED

Big changes are on the way for the GED, also known as the General Educational Development Certificate. Thirty million adults in the U.S. are without a high school degree, and 700,000 of them take the GED test every year. Two new competitors will begin offering high school equivalency testing in January and the GED itself will no longer be a pen and paper exam, but a computer-based system. What do all of these changes mean for those seeking a high school equivalency degree? Marci Foster, a policy analyst at the Center for Law And Social Policy, explains.


A Look Back at Dolly the Sheep

Today The Takeaway turns back time with the help of our friends at Retro Report. They’re a documentary team and each week they look back at an event in the news archives to look at the lasting consequences of stories from recent history. Today we travel back to 1997—the year Dolly the sheep became the first successfully cloned mammal. Matthew Spolar, producer for Retro Report joins us to explain.


In Wake of Shutdown, GOP Already Facing Electoral Tests

There's a mess in Washington and the tide of fear is beginning to rise over whether or not markets will react even if a default crisis is averted. The money-minded Republican establishment in Washington may finally be saying enough is enough. That frustration is playing out in the state of Michigan where business leaders are steadily distancing themselves from the Tea Party activists they once supported. Michigan businessman Brian Ellis is doing just that—he's launching a Republican primary challenge against Representative Justin Amash, a prominent figure in the Tea Party.


In Praise of the Four-Day Work Week

In honor of the Columbus Day weekend, we’re looking at the four-day work week. It’s not as rare as you might think. New York’s Families and Work Institute reported that in 2012, at least 36 percent of workplaces offer a compressed week at least part of the year. These workplaces include big companies like Blue Cross and General Motors. Jim Braude has been researching the four-day work week for the Boston Globe. He’s also the host of Broadside: The News With Jim Braude on NECN and co-host of WGBH’s Boston Public Radio. He explains the future of the four-day work week.


Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Comments [11]

Tommy from Pennsylvania

Regarding organized religion: As an atheist, I've struggled for all of my 56 years with evangelists imposing their views on me. This comes in the form of direct confrontation of my views, to having to sit through prayer in a room obviously full of folks from a variety of faiths and beliefs, and as a child, having a woman in my classroom asking the class "raise your hand if you believe in Jesus Christ as your lord and savior", and of course, being required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with its reference to a God. I'm sure just as there are many Muslims who are quietly confident in their views, but there's also an evangelistic population among their followers. I've never had a Hindu try to convert me, and even though Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion, I've never had a monk confront me, urging me to start my journey to nirvana.

Oct. 15 2013 12:56 PM

Actually the Democrats voted for the shutdown. NPR probably views it as a positive that for many NPR is their only news source. Hearing only one side of an issue portrayed in such a partisan fashion is why Democrats are usually so uninformed. This may be good for the Democrat party, it is bad for the country.

Oct. 14 2013 05:27 PM
Sally Wade

My daughter is a freshman at Wellesley College. It surprised us that she chose to attend a women's college, but her decision was based on several factors including greater access to leadership opportunities and the opportunity to work closely with inspirational and accomplished women, as Dr. Pasquerella indicated is the case for Mt Holyoke (another college my daughter considered). I was a bit disappointed in this study, as I think it muddled the issues faced by small liberal arts colleges in general, with the issues faced by women's college more specifically. It is a very competitive market regardless of whether a college is coed or single-sex and this issue was not sufficiently addressed in this story.

Oct. 14 2013 04:28 PM
Ruth from Manhattan

It's not only children with kids who need more free time.

I want enough time to volunteer, but with a job AND an artistic career in my spare time, I have no time for charitable work!

Oct. 14 2013 03:53 PM
Alicia Hodenfield from Santa Rosa, CA

What wouldn't I do with an extra day?! I'd volunteer in my boys' 1st grade classrooms, finish laundry, grocery shop, complete MY homework, really clean my house, pick my boys up from school (istead of sending them to afterschool care)...Evey Monday I'm wishing for that one more day to finish things up...

Oct. 14 2013 03:06 PM
JasonB from Minneapolis, MN

Having an extra full day continuous with the weekend would greatly change my lifestyle. In addition to always having 3-day weekends it would allow me to be more efficient with home projects.

I know I'm being facetious when I ask you to check your math, John. Four 10-hour work days instead of five 8-hour days would not leave you with "more time". I understand the spirit of your posit, but perhaps it could be rephrased to ask how it would change one's schedule.

Oct. 14 2013 02:45 PM
Brian Burk from Portland, OR

I work a 12-hour shift in the following pattern: three days on, four days off, four days on, three days off. It makes for long days, but it also makes for gloriously long weekends. Two benefits are that I don't have to use many vacation days when I want some time off, and I save a lot of gas by not driving to and from work as much.

Oct. 14 2013 12:57 PM
steven williamson from CT

I'd love a transcript of Lord Jones's remarks. He spoke brilliantly.

Oct. 14 2013 12:20 PM

I've made a surreal unrefined video to summarize the government shutdown. It features heated exchanges between imaginary politicians. At 5 min. and 12 sec long, the video is similar to the wasted time our politicians call work (you may need to copy and paste this link): https://vimeo.com/76581745

Oct. 14 2013 12:07 PM
Emily Weir from South Hadley, MA

Mount Holyoke College, which is still thriving as a women's college, was founded in 1837 (the founding date was wrong in your broadcast).

Oct. 14 2013 11:56 AM
Kristi Burch from Myrtle Beach, SC

A graduate of Meredith College. (a women's college in Raleigh, NC)

I talk with my daughters (3) regularly about he benefits of single gender education!

We need choice in higher education. I think we need more all male colleges too!

Oct. 14 2013 09:33 AM

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