In the Workplace with Peter Cappelli and Dan O'Meara


Unions, Then vs. Now

Season 2019, Ep. 36

Steven Greenhouse was a reporter for The New York Times for 31 years, spending his last 19 years there as the Times’ labor and workplace reporter, before retiring from the paper in December 2014. He covered myriad labor topics, including conditions for the nation’s farm workers, the Fight for $15, Walmart’s locking in workers at night, the New York City transit strike, and factory disasters in Bangladesh.

Greenhouse also served as the NYT’s Midwest business correspondent, based in Chicago, as its European economics correspondent, based in Paris, and as an economics and then diplomatic correspondent in Washington.

He has written a new book, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, that Alfred A. Knopf published on August 6, 2019. The book looks at key historic episodes that built America’s labor unions and shows how unions and worker power helped build the world’s largest middle class as well as a fairer, more democratic America.

A native of Massapequa, N.Y., Greenhouse, he is also graduate of Wesleyan University (1973), the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (1975), and NYU Law School (1982).

Greenhouse joined The Times in September 1983 as a business reporter, covering steel and other basic industries. He then spent two-and-a-half years as the newspaper’s Midwestern business correspondent based in Chicago. In 1987, he moved to Paris, where he served as The Times’ European economics correspondent, covering everything from Western Europe’s economy to the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. After five years in Paris, he served as an NYT correspondent in Washington for four years, covering economics and the Federal Reserve and then the State Department and foreign affairs.

His first book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, was published in April 2008 by Alfred A. Knopf. It won the 2009 Sidney Hillman Book Prize. Greenhouse has also been honored with the Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club award, a New York Press Club award, and a Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Reporting.

He continues to freelance for, among others, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los

Angeles Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic and the Columbia Journalism Review.

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The Collegiate Cover

Season 2019, Ep. 46
Irwin S. Kirsch is the Director of the Center for Global Assessment at Educational Testing Service. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Measurement, Reading/Literacy from the University of Delaware in 1982. Since joining ETS in 1984, he has directed a number of large-scale assessments in the area of literacy including the National Adult Literacy Survey, and the NAEP Young Adult Literacy Survey. He was also a key person in establishing the International Adult Literacy Surveys and has directed them for ETS since 1993. In 1987, he received the ETS Research Scientist Award for his work in the area of literacy and was named as an ETS Distinguished Presidential Appointee in 1999. Kirsch currently manages several large-scale surveys including the Adult Education Program Study with the U.S. Department of Education and the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Program with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Kirsch also chairs the Reading Expert Group for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and has been involved with several efforts aimed at defining and measuring information and communication technology (ICT) skills. In this area, he has directed an international panel for ETS that defined ICT literacy, has designed and conducted a feasibility study on ICT literacy for the OECD, and participates on an OECD advisory panel aimed at establishing a new survey of adult skills for the 21st century.