This Week in the News…

Posted: January 16, 2004 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:

Friday, Jan. 9, Associated Press

Vietnamese-Americans Angered over Former Leader’s Visit to Homeland

“Wolf said Ky would like to serve as a bridge between the United States and Vietnam, and that he believes the future of both countries is best served by strengthening the bonds between them. He added that some of those who have spoken out most vehemently about the symbolism of Ky’s return already do business with the Vietnamese government. Policy analysts were cautiously optimistic about the trip’s possible impact. ‘I think this is a significant step. However, it depends on how the Vietnamese receive him and what he will say,’ said Nguyen Manh Hung, director of George Mason University’s Indochinese Program. Hung said Vietnam once viewed Vietnamese living abroad as traitors but considers them an ‘integral part of the population.'”

Sunday, Jan. 11, The Plain Dealer

Ohio Looks for the Key to Perfect Teachers

The mechanism the project will use is a groundbreaking formula developed by former University of Tennessee Professor William Sanders. Sanders devised a system of assessing schools and teachers based on the test-score gains of their students. The system was adopted by Tennessee in 1992 and is used by every school district in that state. But this is the first time Sanders’ system, which measures the value a teacher adds to a student’s experience in the classroom, is being used to assess the quality of a state’s teacher education programs. Sanders has his critics. Some, such as George Mason University Professor Gerald Bracey, think it unwise to put a numerical value on teacher quality.”

Monday, Jan. 12, Barron’s

The Real Deal: How FDR’s New Deal Prolonged Great Depression Unemployment

“The New Deal made it more expensive for employers to hire people. The National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), National Labor Relations Act (1935) and Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) were among the New Deal laws forcing wages above market levels. Naturally, when the price of something goes too high, demand tends to go down. The resulting New Deal unemployment hurt poor people especially hard. In 2001, David E. Bernstein (George Mason University) estimated that 500,000 African-Americans lost jobs because of the National Industrial Recovery Act alone.”

Tuesday, Jan. 13, Journal Gazette

Fact from Fad: Nation’s History Chock-full of Quick-fix Diets

“As the century bore on, the interest in weight loss grew. A succession of figures proffered their sure-fire solutions with confidence and authority. Then came the explosive change. Dieting became a widespread national preoccupation–and no one knows quite why, says historian Peter N. Stearns, provost and professor of history at George Mason University and author of Fat History (New York University Press). ‘You could say that, well, people started getting increasingly concerned about dieting right around the time they should have,’ he says. Food was abundant. Public transportation and sedentary jobs were on the rise. Yet there is little evidence to suggest people were getting much fatter at that time, he adds.”

Wednesday, Jan. 14, The News & Observer

Dangerous Things That Parents Do

Peter Stearns, author of Anxious Parents: A History of Modern Childrearing in America, says we do a lot more worrying about our children than our parents and grandparents did about us. Some of that worry is appropriate, said Stearns, who is also provost and a history professor at George Mason University. ‘Anyone who doesn’t worry when his kid starts driving is a fool,’ he said. Other things, like childhood abduction, happen, but very rarely. ‘Part of the concern reflects that most of us as parents really think it’s an awesome responsibility,’ he said. ‘Parenting should be some fun,’ Stearns said. ‘It ought to be a little less tense for some people than it is today.'”

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