George Mason in the News…

Posted: October 1, 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:

Saturday, Sept. 25, The Toronto Star

Why Are ESL Students Left Behind?

“In Canada, there is so little information about the academic performance of ESL students that few concerns are raised about the quality of our existing programs. In making the case for their massive U.S. study of 210,000 ESL students, Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier, of George Mason University, wrote: ‘It is urgent that federal and state governments know what school practices are most effective for language minority students because this demographic group is fast becoming the largest minority group in U.S. schools. Our data analyses from 1985 to 2001 show that most U.S. schools are dramatically under-educating this student population.'”

Sunday, Sept. 26, The Record

Have We No Shame? In Reality TV, Just How Low Can Some Families Go?

“Some experts, citing how social mores have changed in the past few decades, view the brazen behavior as part of a wider social trend-with positive and negative effects. But others say it’s not typical of everyday Americans. ‘The reason why it sells is that it is different, it is out of the ordinary and not what we encounter in our day-to-day life, and part of our social expectations,’ says June Tangney, a professor of psychology at George Mason University who specializes in the relationship of shame and guilt to psychological symptoms. ‘There is an element of voyeurism. People like to see other people who are behaving or living in a shameless way, so they can say, “Oh, I’m not that bad.”‘”

Sunday, Sept. 26, The Star-Ledger

U.S. Works To Counter Iran in Iraq

“The two moves follow a decision by the administration’s top foreign policy team this summer to initiate steps to prevent Iran from gaining a major behind-the-scenes role in shaping the Iraqi government due to be elected in January, U.S. officials said. But they also reflect U.S. recognition that attempts to keep Iran out of Iraq, given strong religious, geographic and ethnic ties dating back centuries, are likely to fail and could even backfire, U.S. officials said. ‘The idea that you can prevent Iran from having influence or playing a role is totally misplaced, given connections between the clergy, geographic proximity, a long border, family connections, the large community of Shi’as from Iran and all the mullahs who studied in the same schools under the same teachers,’ said Shaul Bakhash of George Mason University, an expert on Iran and author of The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution.

Sunday, Sept. 26, Houston Chronicle

Supreme Court Set To Consider Hearings in Key Cases

“The nine justices have served together for ten years-the longest stretch without a vacancy since 1823. Both major presidential candidates are aware that Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 79, Justices John Paul Stevens, 84, and/or Sandra Day O’Connor, 74, could step down during the next four years. ‘It would be shocking if at least one of the justices didn’t retire in the next few years,’ says Ronald Rotunda, a constitutional law expert at George Mason University. The justices already have accepted 40 cases for the term, about half the number expected to be heard for the session.”

Tuesday, Sept. 28, The Washington Times

Students Hope Voting Gets Old College Try

“With voter-registration deadlines for the November election just days away, student activists are scrambling across area college campuses hoping to sign up first-time voters. Stephanie Sauer, 21, president of the student government at Virginia’s George Mason University, said that by casting their votes, young people can have a profound effect on this year’s elections. ‘I believe that my generation and the college generation is the swing vote of this election. So if we come out as the strong force that we could be, we will definitely swing this election one way or the other,’ she said. Hoping to make the prediction a reality, George Mason University’s student government has joined forces with other campus organizations to conduct a voter-registration drive up to the deadline for registration.”

Wednesday, Sept. 29, The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Debate Is Really about Undecided Voters

Ilya Somin, an assistant law professor at the George Mason University School of Law, believes uninformed and indifferent voters are alive and well. ‘Large-scale voter ignorance poses a serious danger to American democracy in the 2004 election and beyond,’ Somin wrote in a paper published last week by the Cato Institute, a think tank with libertarian leanings. ‘It is particularly troubling at a time when we face a close wartime election with major policy decisions at stake.’ Somin concluded that there is overwhelming evidence that the American electorate fails to meet even minimal criteria for adequate voter knowledge.'”

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