This Week in the News…

Posted: April 21, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Monday, April 17, Business Week

Why Gates Is Rolling the Dice: Risking Breakup, He’ll Forge Ahead With His All-in-One Web Strategy

“While the case revolved around Microsoft’s effort to conquer the browser market, many of the possible remedies look ahead to the Internet and corporate-enterprise markets. The company will argue that’s not fair. Under fundamental constitutional principles of due process, punishment has to be closely related to the crime. And judges may be nervous about imposing a remedy that goes too far beyond the proof offered at trial. George Mason University antitrust scholar Ernest Gellhorn thinks that whichever high court hears the case may say: ‘We are not going to allow any conduct remedy where we don’t know what the effect will be.'”

Monday, April 17, Agence France-Presse

World Bank Gets Marks for Effort But Seen Weak in Fighting Poverty

“A crescendo of criticism against the World Bank has forced the beleaguered institution to defend its record of fighting poverty, but analysts say the Bank has been its own worst enemy…. ‘The World Bank has gone through an important intellectual evolution in the 1990s,’ said Francis Fukuyama, professor of public policy at George Mason University near here. ‘It has broadened its understanding of development. The question is, why did it take so long? It has been very slow and there have been a lot of missteps along the way. It has been excessively rigid and ossified. It’s like trying to turn around an oil tanker,’ he said.”

Tuesday, April 18, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio)

What’s Up with the Weather?

Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist at George Mason University, is among the ‘greenhouse skeptics’ who question the data about global warming. He goes so far as to sound like a snow-belt refugee when he discusses it. ‘What is the impact on agriculture? The answer is, it is positive, it is good,’ he says. ‘Let’s face it. People like warmer climates.’ ‘Unfortunately,’ counters physicist and George Mason University colleague James Trefil, ‘when people talk about global warming, it’s always in terms of, “Oh gosh, it was hot last summer.” And that doesn’t work, because weather and climate are two very different things.'”

Tuesday, April 18, New York Daily News

Prof: Extra Cash Won’t Help City Schools

“Spending millions more to improve teaching and cut class sizes won’t improve students’ academic performance, a Harvard-trained researcher testified yesterday in a legal dispute over funding for New York City schools. The expert, David Armor, said his statistical analysis of student test scores showed that poverty is the reason the city’s elementary school students score lower than children in the rest of the state. ‘The achievement difference is almost completely explained by socioeconomic differences,’ said Armor, a controversial expert hired by the state. ‘What I find is that school resources have virtually no effect or very little effect on student achievement.’ His testimony angered education advocates, whose lawsuit accusing the state of shortchanging city schools is in its sixth month of trial in Manhattan Supreme Court. They branded Armor, a professor at George Mason University in Virginia who has testified similarly in other states, a ‘hired gun’ and said his 1995 book criticizing court-ordered desegregation was embraced by white supremacists.”

Wednesday, April 19, Newsday

State Witness: Poverty Reason for Low Scores

“The poverty of New York City schoolchildren–and not the level of education funding or inadequate teaching–is the reason city students perform poorly in the classroom, the state’s chief witness testified this week in a landmark education funding trial. Because many of them are poor, city children enter school at a disadvantage that cannot be overcome with small class sizes, more qualified teachers or more class time, the state’s witness, David Armor, a research professor at George Mason University in Virginia, testified yesterday and Monday. Poor students are more likely to have a single parent who earns little and has a low level of education, as well as to live in neighborhoods with other poor students, factors that account for ‘virtually all’ the difference in achievement, he testified. ‘Students enter the New York City schools with these characteristics,’ Armor said. ‘Those conditions were not caused by the school system.’ Armor was the chief defense witness in a lawsuit that claims the state cheats New York City’s poor and minority schoolchildren of their fair share of education aid.”

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