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Week of 3 December 1999

Vol. III, No. 16

In the News

"We've had 20 years of seeing the impact of schools that took a passive approach to values and character," says Kevin Ryan, a School of Education professor emeritus and former director of BU's Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character, in the November 17 Los Angeles Times. "There's been an explosion of out-of-wedlock births and fatal Columbine High School events, even as students picked up values from television and movies instead of Thomas Jefferson and Socrates."

U.S. agreement to let China into the World Trade Organization "will go a long way to smooth out some of the extreme oscillation that we have seen in Sino-American relations in recent years," says Joseph Fewsmith, CAS associate professor of international relations, in the New York Times November 16. "I think it gives us a chance to build some substance into a relationship that has been badly damaged."

"Everybody wants to do something new, but it's really about sticking to your knitting," says Douglas Sears, superintendent of schools in Chelsea, where BU is in its 10th year of an education partnership. He expresses skepticism in November 20's Boston Globe about innovations aimed at improving students' MCAS scores, such as a Web site with video game-like features to help answer sample test questions. "If I can think of one thing that is the end of progress, it is the endless search for something different, when the real challenge is to harness your resources and direct them to the right places."

As the computer industry awaited a federal judge's final ruling in the antitrust case against Microsoft, legal experts forsee the possibility that the company's competitors -- encouraged by the harsh preliminary ruling -- will consider lawsuits of their own. "I would expect there to be some litigation by rivals," says Ronald Cass, dean of the School of Law, November 17 in the Los Angeles Times. "A lot of people probably think there's enough money to be gotten out of a very wealthy target such as Microsoft to make a lawsuit a worthwhile investment."

"I don't understand the governor's vetoes at all," says BU Chancellor John Silber, former chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, in a November 18 Boston Globe article, referring to the recent veto of $94 million in local school funds by Governor Paul Cellucci. "I don't understand it in terms of policy, and I don't even understand it in terms of politics." Legislators, sharing Silber's lack of comprehension, unanimously overrode Cellucci's veto.

"In the News" is compiled by Alexander Crouch in the Office of Public Relations.