This Week in the News…

Posted: June 30, 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:

Tuesday, June 27, Washington Post

Va. Parents Don’t Trust Exam, Poll Finds

“A survey of 800 Northern Virginia parents this year by a George Mason University professor found widespread dissatisfaction with the state’s Standards of Learning exams, with only 17 percent saying that the tests are ‘an accurate measure of my child’s achievement’ and 61 percent disagreeing with that statement…. The survey was conducted in March and June by John E. Bonfadini, a GMU professor of educational research, and his graduate students…. ‘I think the survey shows that parents have common sense,’ Bonfadini said. ‘They realize that one [test] is not a valid or accurate measure of their children and they don’t believe it should be used in a punitive way.'”

Wednesday, June 28, Wall Street Journal Europe, Asian Wall Street Journal

Genetic Solutions: A Milestone in the Conquest of Nature

By Francis Fukuyama, a professor of public policy at George Mason University.

“This week’s joint announcement that Celera and the Human Genome Project had completed a rough sequencing of the human genome can be both overestimated and underestimated in its significance. The commercial hype surrounding the announcement is enormous, going so far as to suggest that the groups have unlocked the genetic foundation of human life in a manner that will have immediate consequences for health and happiness. This is a great overstatement…. What the decoding of the genome will provide us with is knowledge that will help settle many of the ‘nature vs. nurture’ questions that have dogged philosophy since the ancient Greeks, and that are at the core of any number of today’s public-policy debates. Are men and women truly different psychologically, or is it just a matter of social conditioning? Is homosexuality a congenital or an acquired condition? To what extent is intelligence inherited, or is it something that can be improved through a better environment? Are there significant differences between racial and ethnic groups beyond skin and hair color? Each of these positions has fierce partisans, but without being able to link specific genes to specific conditions or behaviors, the arguments remain largely speculative.”

Thursday, June 29, Washington Post

Clinton Team Tougher than Predecessors, but New President May Shift Path

“‘The Clinton administration has spent too much emphasis on investigating and prosecuting winners,’ said Timothy Muris, a George Mason University law professor who also is a key adviser to the GOP presidential campaign of Texas Gov. George W. Bush…. Compared with the Gore campaign, where there are no highly visible advisers who are as deeply entrenched in the antitrust debate, Muris, the George Mason professor, stands out. In the Bush campaign, Muris mainly consults on economic issues outside of antitrust and has avoided taking sides in the Microsoft trial. ‘Microsoft is a hard case to understand the truth,’ Muris said, ‘in part because Microsoft did not try the case very well.'”

Thursday, June 29, American Banker

Small Banks Cast Themselves as Web Portals

Gerald Hanweck, a banking consultant and a business professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said it would be tough for the performance of bank portals to equal their advance billing. ‘I am a skeptic,’ Mr. Hanweck said. Portals ‘are going to be a very difficult thing to get much value from. I think banks would be better off trying to attract people with the services they provide.'”

Write to at