Fall 1999

Fall 1999

A Visit With David Driscoll

The first day of September was looking pretty good for Education Commissioner David Driscoll. As he sat that afternoon in the conference room adjoining his office, he could see something more than the usual view from the fifth floor of the state Department of Education headquarters in Malden–he could see education reform in Massachusetts beginning(...)

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Executive Compensation

There’s a move afoot in the Legislature to hike the salaries of the state’s six constitutional officers, who are now laboring at pay rates set six years ago. So CommonWealth set out to find how Massachusetts measures up, salary-wise, as a place to be chief executive of state government. It turns out that gubernatorial salaries,(...)

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The Case for AfterSchool Learning

In most ways, it looked like just another day at the new federal courthouse in downtown Boston. On a recent afternoon in one of the cavernous building’s wood-paneled courtrooms, Judge Joseph L. Tauro called the proceedings in a civil case to order, addressing each of the smartly dressed lawyers as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The attorneys(...)

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A fond farewell

A little over four years ago, we set out to launch a new quarterly magazine about “politics, ideas and civic life in Massachusetts.” We had studied the publications of think tanks around the country and had a clear idea of what we wanted to create. We wanted a real magazine that would complement the organization’s(...)

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The Last Harrumph

PREFACE.This is my last issue as editor of CommonWealth. It was my intention, believe it or not, to go out with something light and lively in this space. I wanted to reflect on how much fun Massachusetts politics can be. I suspect that hasn’t been evident enough in our pages–that we enjoy our subject considerably.(...)

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A Milltown Memoir

Five Thousand Days Like This One: An American Family History By Jane Brox Beacon Press, Boston, 1999, 174 pages. One hundred years ago, Lawrence, Massachusetts, was known as the worsted and woolen capital of the world. Home to tens of thousands of immigrants who came to seek their fortunes in the textile mills that lined(...)

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Make Way for Motherhood

I write this nearing my 36th week of pregnancy, when words like “sleep” or “concentration” or “breathing” can only be uttered with derisive little quotation marks around them. Forgive me, therefore, if the following thoughts seem a little scattered. Blame CommonWealth‘s editors. They’ve asked me to, um, weigh in about what it’s like being an(...)

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West Springfield and Southampton

West Springfield and Southampton

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Every town has one — the captious critic who angrily insists that local government is being run by a band of incompetents. Most often the gadfly is ignored and the public shows scant desire to march on town hall and throw the scoundrels out. The wheels of government grind on as they(...)

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Counterpoints

Ed Moscovitch’s proposal for a statewide property tax to fund the costs of a basic education in each community in the Commonwealth has two important policy objectives: to sustain the state’s striking success in bringing underfunded schools up to a more adequate level of spending, and to bring about greater tax equity in the financing(...)

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