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A national news station recently reported the following: “


“Over the past few years, the number of women leaving the workforce to stay at home with their children has increased by 47%. More mothers are exploring this option because they dislike dropping their children off at daycare. Therefore, if companies wish to retain these mothers as employees, they should build onsite daycare centers.””




Over the last two decades, women have made great strides in improving the equality between men and women in the workforce. However, although women are climbing the corporate ladder faster and more frequently than ever, a new trend has evolved. A national news station discussed this trend citing the results of a recent survey, which shows a dramatic increase in the number of women who are leaving their careers to stay at home with their children. The news report suggested that mothers are quitting their jobs because they dislike leaving their children at daycare. Therefore, they implored, if companies wish to retain these mothers as employees, they should build onsite daycare centers. Although the survey results in this argument are valid, they are not fully developed and the suggested solution makes generalized assumptions and omits other important avenues companies could explore to retain employees.


The news station was accurate in reporting that many women are opting to stay home with their children rather than to go to work. Basing this claim on a survey adds credibility to the report. However, the writers at the news station should have considered investigating the matter more thoroughly and thus fully developing the story. In addition to obtaining the results from the survey that indicated the increase in the number of homemakers, they should have requested more detailed results that would explain the reasons more women are leaving their jobs to stay at home. If these results were not readily available, the station should have considered conducting their own survey to obtain these answers.


Had the station obtained more details about the reasons so many women are leaving the workforce, they would not have made the mistaken assumption that mothers’’ dislike of daycare is the main reason behind the trend. Perhaps they would have realized that, although it is true that mothers do not like having to drop their children off at daycare, there are more specifics to the dilemma. For example, some families discover that the cost of daycare, commuting, and a work wardrobe surpasses the cost to a one-income family where the father works and the mother saves on the added expense that comes from holding a job. Many mothers are staying home simply because they feel more comfortable being the one to raise their children. They realize that they are missing many important aspects of their children’’s lives and make the necessary monetary adjustments to become a one-income family.


Clearly, there are many reasons some families are opting to live on one salary, and these reasons go beyond the daycare factor. If the news station had discussed these reasons, they would probably have made several other suggestions to companies who wish to retain these women as employees. For example, companies could explore alternate scheduling options such as flex schedules and part-time work. Flex schedules would allow mothers to take part in important events in their children’’s lives by scheduling their workday around their children’’s schedules. An employee on a flex schedule could, for example, come in earlier than other employees and leave in time to catch her child’’s baseball game. Part-time opportunities not only give mothers more time with their children, but they also help alleviate the cost of daycare and commuting. A part-timer may choose to just work three days a week, spending the other two at home. Many women would likely stay with their company if they were given an opportunity to telecommute. This would be an excellent option for companies to offer to mothers whose jobs require excessive computer work or research as this can easily be done from a remote location.


Although the news station’’s suggestion that companies should build onsite daycare centers was a viable one, the station should certainly have taken more time to fully address the issue. They should consider giving a follow-up report in which they discuss other reasons women are returning home to be with their children. These details will likely lead to further suggestions they can give to companies struggling with the popular trend of women giving up their careers to be homemakers.



The following is from a speech by the president of the Best Charity Club to her club members:


“Three months ago, the Charity for Youth Club held a bake sale at the annual Fourth of July Bash in town. They raised over $2,000. Our club budget currently has a deficit of $1,000, and we have some pending purchases and contributions which total over $1,000.This brings our monetary need to $2,000. We should hold a bake sale at the annual Christmas Party at the civic center in order to raise the funds we need to cover these costs.””




Every year, charities raise thousands of dollars for good causes. Recently in a speech to her club members, the president of the Best Charity Club mentioned that at the last Fourth of July Bash, the Charity for Youth Club raised over $2,000 by conducting a bake sale. To meet monetary needs of $2,000, the president stated that it would be in the best interest of the Best Charity Club to hold a similar fundraiser at the annual Christmas Party. Although the president was probably correct in recounting the profit the Charity for Youth Club made at the Fourth of July Bash, she is too quick to assume that her club can make similar profits; she has failed to analyze specific details about the Charity for Youth Club’’s fundraiser to confirm that her club can duplicate the bake sale and its favorable results.


The president of the Best Charity Club assumes that her club can duplicate the results of the Charity for Youth Club’’s summer bake sale. However, along with this assumption is the presumption that charitable givers will be as willing to donate to her club’’s charity as to the cause of the Charity for Youth Club. She does not discuss either cause, so we do not have a reference from which to judge. Perhaps the Charity for Youth Club raises money for children who have cancer. Perhaps the Best Charity Club donates money to political causes. Clearly, children with cancer pull at peoples’’ heartstrings more strongly than do politicians. Causes that tug at a person’’s heart are more likely to get people to open their wallets as well. Regardless of the specific cause, however, the president of Best Charity assumes that people will be just as likely to give at the Christmas party as at the Fourth of July event. Since people often spend a lot of money on Christmas gifts, they may not be as willing to give to charity as during the summer months.


Not only will the Best Charity Club need to plan for a bake sale at a different time of year than the Charity for Youth’’s sale, but they will also need to project how many baked goods to prepare and what kinds. The president of the Best Charity Club failed to address these specifics of the Charity for Youth Club’’s bake sale. For example, it would be helpful for the Best Charity Club to be knowledgeable about what types of baked goods sold well at the Charity for Youth’’s bake sale and what pricing was set for each item. If the president does not address these details, her club’’s bake sale may not be as successful. The president must look even further than the pricing her club should set for the baked goods. She must also look at the costs that her club will incur. She has omitted these costs from her speech, but without some knowledge of a budget for baking products and rent for a selling space at the Christmas party, she cannot accurately calculate the profit her club can make. Without this calculation, she will have a difficult time setting goals with her club members.


Many specifics still need to be discussed with all club members. The president of Best Charity Club should not assume that her club can hold a bake sale that will add the necessary profit of $2,000 to their bank ledger. Even though another charity has been successful in this way, she cannot guarantee to her club members that they can equal this effort. She must give her club members more details from the Charity for Youth Club’’s bake sale such as items sold, pricing, and cost to the club. From there, she should brainstorm with her club about other fundraising ideas in case their bake sale does not ring up the necessary number of sales to meet the deficit in her club’’s budget.



The following is from a television campaign ad:


“Residents of Lawrence County should elect Thornton Campbell as school superintendent in the next election. Thornton Campbell has served as superintendent for 16 years in neighboring Downs County. Since he became superintendent, Downs County Schools have improved their test scores by 43%. If we elect Campbell, Lawrence County School test scores will improve.””




You’’ve seen them on TV around election time—political ads, one after another, bombarding you with the accomplishments of one candidate and the ““dirt”” on another. Knowing what to believe and what to dismiss as mere drivel can be difficult. It is easy to believe things that are stated as fact. For example, in a recent television political ad, supporters of Superintendent Thornton Campbell suggested that he should be elected superintendent of Lawrence County. The ad offered support by reviewing Campbell’’s past record as superintendent of neighboring Downs County. Apparently, test scores in this county went up by 43%. The ad suggested, then, that if Campbell were elected superintendent of Lawrence County, their test scores would improve as well. Although the ad states a positive statistic, it does not provide enough information for voters to make a well-informed decision to vote for Campbell as superintendent.


The ad does not provide adequate information because its assumptions are misleading. The ad assumes that the improvement in test scores is a direct result of Campbell’’s efforts; however, there are other factors that could have played a vital role in the higher scores. For example, perhaps the test has changed. Standardized tests are under continual revision. Revisions over a number of years could result in higher scores as students adapt to the test. This improvement could have coincidentally corresponded with Campbell’’s term as superintendent of Down’’s County Schools making it seem as though it was a result of Campbell’’s service as superintendent.


Even if the ad did prove that the improved test scores at Downs County were a direct result of Campbell’’s work, it assumes that he can duplicate the results in a different county. The most significant element of any county is its people. There is no mention of the population that makes up each county. For example, suppose Lawrence County is more ethnically diverse than Downs County. Campbell’’s strengths may not lie in dealing with a diverse student body and work staff; he may not be as successful in such a situation.


Perhaps the ad should have focused on other positive efforts that made Campbell successful when he served as superintendent of Downs County. Many voters may be more interested in knowing how the candidate dealt with violence in Downs County School, for example, than they are in test scores. In addition, if the ad gave voters more information about Campbell’’s past, they would be able to compare him more intelligently with other candidates.


Voters need many details to make good decisions when they cast their vote. This ad does not provide enough details about Thornton Campbell. Campbell’’s supporters should submit another ad that cites examples of programs that Campbell instituted that played a direct role in improving the students’’ test scores. In addition, they should expand the ad to include details about other positive efforts that made a difference during Campbell’’s term as superintendent in Downs County. From these details, voters can get an idea of what Campbell could bring to Lawrence County Schools that would benefit students and teachers. Voters not only want a superintendent who can help a school system raise test scores, but they also want to be assured that he will effectively combat violence in school, make it a priority to get graduates in to college, improve athletic programs and institute a quality curriculum. Voters must see more details about Thornton Campbell in order to cast a well-informed vote.

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