Fall 1998

Fall 1998

Counterpoint

I have been a strong supporter of certification tests for teaching candidates, and continue to be. So, many people were curious about why I rejected Governor Cellucci’s plan to test veteran teachers as a condition of recertification. If the test is valid for incoming teachers, why would it not be useful for discovering weaknesses in(...)

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Argument

Imagine the following: The Commissioner of Public Health issues a report that a substantial minority of pediatricians are deficient in their understanding of basic anatomy and childhood illnesses. While many of these pediatricians have been working for an average of two decades, the report indicates the very well-being of thousands of children was compromised by(...)

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How snobby is Massachusetts

As the high cost of housing started to squeeze families out of desirable suburbs 30 years ago, the state responded with a landmark law that became known by a pointed nickname–the “Anti-Snob-Zoning Act.” The 1969 statute made it easier for developers to win local approval for affordable housing projects and asked every city and town,(...)

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How much is enough

It’s a fundamental question, whether the subject is welfare reform, affordable housing, or the minimum wage, but it rarely gets answered to anyone’s satisfaction: How much money does a family need to support itself in Massachusetts? Usually people just guess. A recent study by the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union attempts to do away with(...)

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Housing help is on the way

The general public may not have noticed it in the rush of roll calls that marked the end of the legislative session in July, but advocates for the needy sure did. The Legislature passed–and Acting Gov. Paul Cellucci later signed–a bill to provide almost $300 million to preserve and develop affordable housing throughout the state.(...)

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Weird Science

Here is a case of journalistic fraud. Some may consider it a minor case. It involves highly questionable practices in the coverage of election-year politics, but it was hardly remarked upon at the time it occurred, which was the middle of August, a full month before the Sept. 15 state primary election. The story in(...)

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Rebuilding The City And The Suburbs

“I love showing people what we’ve done,” announces our fast-moving, fast-talking tour guide, Jeanne DuBois, director of the Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, “because it’s really exciting.” A 52-year-old soccer mom with blonde-brown hair, DuBois does not at first seem like the type who enjoys prowling the back streets of Boston’s inner city. “I grew(...)

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Neighborhood By Design

Over the Bourne Bridge and down Route 151 a few miles, then a stone’s throw from a weathered wood sign bearing the legend “Land of the Wampanoag,” is the stylish studio apartment Donna Wesley, a 43-year-old pharmacy technician, shares with her husband, Stephen, and their cat, Higgins. It’s Cape Cod, all right. But Wesley isn’t(...)

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Buying In

Two years ago, Johnny Ramirez and his family seemed unlikely candidates to become homeowners in a west-of-Boston suburb. They had come to Framingham from the Dominican Republic seven years earlier, still struggled with English, and had limited savings. He worked as a custodian in the local public schools, while his wife, Aurelina, stayed home in(...)

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A Home of Their Own

Get a glimpse from the driveway, and you’ll think Tom and Lisa Ragan have it made in Marlborough. They live with their three children in a sprawling clapboard house surrounded by maple trees on more than an acre of land just a short drive from Interstate 495. There’s a swingset on the lawn to one(...)

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