Business Curriculum Worries Council

Asks Help From B-School

The Cambridge City Council last night asked Harvard and MIT to help revamp business education programs in the city schools in an attempt to train more local youth for jobs in area industries.

The council, which also summoned the school committee for a joint session in early September to discuss the business education curriculum, asked the Harvard Business School and MIT's Sloan School of Management to study the business and computer training curriculum at the city's Rindge and Latin High School.

"We need to beef up those programs so our kids will come out well-prepared to deal with the business world," city councilor Alfred E. Velluci said.

Vellucci and councilor Saundra Graham said hundreds of new office jobs would soon be available in Cambridge, the result of new construction in the Kendall Square. Harvard Square and Alewife Brook areas. They added that city schools were failing to train students to type, operate computers, or perform other business-oriented chores necessary for employment.

"I've talked to kids and they don't know how to type, use a calculator, or anything else," Vellucci said.


Where The Jobs Are

Graham said many local young people were paying for business administration courses at Boston-area junior colleges "because there's nothing available in Cambridge...Our schools should specialize in this area because that's where the jobs are," Graham said.

Business School officials could not be reached for comment last night. Mayor Francis H. Duehay '55 said he would contact both Harvard and MIT in the next few weeks to ask for aid.

The council also voted to include an anti-nuclear weapons referendum question on the ballot for city elections in November. Observers predicted the referendum might draw student voters to the polls.

If passed, the referendum would instruct the city council to in turn ask the local Congressional delegation to freeze future development of nuclear weapons in Cambridge.

"We're talking about weapons that could kill all humankind," Graham said.

Councilor Thomas Danehy, who voted present on the referendum's inclusion on the ballot, said. "If my neighbor was throwing halves of bricks at me. I'm not going to respond with Johnson's and Johnson's cotton balls."

If the measure does draw liberal student voters to the polls, it could increase the chances of reform-minded Cambridge Civic Association (CCA) council and school committee candidates. A similar measure opposing city investment in companies doing business in South Africa was credited with luring many students to the polls in the last election.

Two other referendum questions--one calling for an end to military aid to El Salvador, and the other giving preference to laid-off policemen and firefighters if the city does any rehiring--are already on the ballot