Bennett, Bloom Will Create Education Research Center

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Washington--Secretary of Education William J. Bennett plans to team up with Allan Bloom, the University of Chicago scholar, to form a research center to study liberal-arts education and other public-Education Department officials said last week.

The proposed "Madison Center," which would be research, publish books, and hold summer institutes for college students and faculty members. "The classics of Western philosophy and literature amount to a great debate on the perennial questions," Mr. Bennett said. "To deprive those students of this debate is to condemn them to improvise their ways of living in ignorance of their real options and the best arguments for each."

The Madison Center's summer institutes will seek to ensure that at least some students are exposed to such masterpieces. Up to 100 students will be invited to spend three or four weeks "early in their college career" conducting a "serious examination of classic texts," according to Mr. Jackson.

At the same time, he said, the institutes--which will take place at an as-yet-undetermined college campus--will "draw together faculty members to engage in a helpful, sustained discussion on the state of American higher education."

Mr. Bloom will serve as a director of the institutes, Mr. Jackson indicated. Unlike such "think tanks" as the Brookings Institution or the American Enterprise Institute, however, the Madison Center does not plan to maintain a "stable of senior scholars," he said.--rr

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