Archive for ‘Audio Listing’

December 31, 2014

Part 2: A $15/hour Minimum Wage?

PART 2:  The conversation which began focused on minimum wage issues continued, with the discussion becoming much broader in scope including is the public thoughtfully engaged in important issues, is the public library serving to promote well read and well informed citizens, what is the role of the Internet in research and information, and much more. As always, we appreciate your listening to our conversation, but yours is more important! Discuss these issues with your family, friends, acquaintances, and legislators.

Length: 42 minutes, 25 seconds

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December 21, 2014

A $15/hour Minimum Wage?

PART 1:  Whether to raise the minimum wage required by law in the USA has, once again, become a topic of controversy with a number of employees of fast food restaurants staging protests demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage. One such worker wrote to The Commercial Appeal to outline her reasons she thought the minimum wage should be increased to $15. A high school class examined her arguments as we do along with other considerations in this Memphis Conversation. (Part 2 is below the audio link to Part 1.)

Length: 36 minutes, 49 seconds

PART 2 is the continuation of this conversation and is posted on this site.

March 31, 2013

School Vouchers: are they right for Tennessee?

If you want to start a vigorous discussion gather a few people together and bring up the idea of school vouchers. Vouchers is a common term devouchers-classroom-bscribing programs in which state/local money that traditionally would have gone to a public school in which a student enrolled can follow the pupil even if he/she chooses to go to a private school.

Several states have implemented school voucher programs. The Tennessee General Assembly is currently considering such a proposal from Governor Bill Haslam.

In this conversation recorded March 30, 2013, Eddie Settles explores some of the issues concerning school vouchers with Darrell Hugueley and Ken Welch.

Listen:

Length: 1 hour, 45 seconds

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Addendum:
The subject of school vouchers is full of important elements. An hour’s discussion hardly does it justice.

That’s where you come in. A Memphis Conversation is just that, one of many. If you’ve listened, you’ve heard part of our conversation (we kept talking for a couple of hours more). Now it’s your turn. Talk about this and other important subjects, in a civil manner of course, with your family, friends, work acquaintances, even others who you may not know but who are concerned about our civic responsibility to inform ourselves. Encourage those who are inclined not to address important subjects to join you in considering these matters.

Among the important aspects of the discussion I do not think we had time to mention are the following:

  • legislative observers believe there is a good chance this year for a school voucher bill to be enacted into law in Tennessee;
  • the Shelby County School Board, currently the 23 members panel that governs both Memphis and Shelby County schools (which become one school district this summer), is on record opposing any legislation or other efforts by the Tennessee General Assembly to implement a program designed to provide students with a taxpayer-funded opportunity scholarship/tuition vouchers to attend a non-public school of their choice;
  • the Tennessee Education Association, as well as the Memphis Education Association which is the union representing Memphis City School teachers, opposes school vouchers;
  • the governor’s proposal caps the number of vouchers for the 2013-2014 school year at 5,000, 7,500 the second year, 10,000 the third year, and 20,000 the fourth year of the program but there are proposals among legislators to amend the bill to increase or remove the limits.

Links:

Read a summary of the voucher bill

Read the voucher bill as filed in the Tennessee Senate

View the Tennessee K-12 & School Choice Survey referenced during the conversation

The Shelby County School Board 2013 Legislative Agenda resolution (see page 7)

— Ken Welch

August 26, 2012

Cotton, hardwood and rock ‘n’ roll, the capital of the Delta. A new state of West Tennessee?

Listen:

Length 1 hour 42 minutes.

For our August edition of A Memphis Conversation we knew what we were going to talk about. The only thing is, we did not talk about those things. One of the wonderful aspects of talking with friends is that the conversation can go in a direction completely unplanned. Perhaps those targeted subjects will be the fodder for future conversations.

We also took a turn away from the topic that has dominated our previous conversation programs. Those largely focused on the primary and secondary education systems in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. Rightly so, since Memphis is the central location for a Teacher Effectiveness Initiative and it is also in the midst of one of the largest school district mergers. This month, though, the school systems were barely mentioned.

So, what did we talk about? A wide range of subjects. Including those that might wish there were a 51st state: West Tennessee, Memphis as the capital of the Delta, Memphis being the exporter of “some of the most important cultural innovations … in the 20 and 21st centuries.” We also discuss our responsibility in a self governed society and concerns about surrendering freedom for security or a false sense of security.

Admittedly, I probably like to hear myself talk. Still, I, Ken, thought I’d listen to the entire program when I went to bed the evening after recording it and that it would put me to sleep. I was wrong. It was such and interesting and enjoyable conversation, it kept me up until the wee hours of the morning.

We hope you’ll not just listen, but that you’ll engage in conversation with friends, family, colleagues.

 


Want to know more? Here are some links to information about some of the things we talked about.

Buster Williams and his Plastic Products Company & his jukeboxes
Memphis as the Hardwood Capital
The Story of Cotton ( from planting to marketing)
Memphis History
Jimmy Ogle, historian or storyteller
Meet the Mayor – Citizens’ opportunity to meet personally with the Shelby County Mayor
Downtown Museum Day – September 15, 2012