Fall 2004

Fall 2004

Field of battle

Field of battle

For the first time in more than a decade, voters in most Massachusetts communities will see a Republican candidate for state representative on their ballots this fall. (Also see State of the States). Republican candidates are filling in gaps where there had been no GOP candidates two years ago just about everywhere except the state’s(...)

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Split-level personality

Optimism, pessimism, and the American psyche

In 1980, Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan, running against Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter, asked voters, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Note that he said “you,” not “we” or “the United States.” Reagan believed that when things get better for individuals, society is better off; since his victorious campaign, few American(...)

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An education tour of China reveals great success alongside vast failure

You would think that traveling with a 2-year-old would be enough to discourage trips halfway around the world. But when Primary Source, a regional professional development group, invited us on a two-week tour of China for “education leaders,” my wife and I jumped at the chance. For me, the trip represented an opportunity to explore(...)

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A new book of essays celebrates Boston without glossing over the citys weaknesses

A new book of essays celebrates Boston without glossing over the citys weaknesses

The Good City: Writers Explore 21st-Century Boston Edited by Emily Hiestand and Ande Zellman Boston, Beacon Press, 175 pages. July’s Democratic National Convention did not, as it turned out, produce most of the consequences predicted in the seemingly endless pre-convention hype. Neither the calamitous prophecies of the Boston Herald—which portrayed the coming DNC as a(...)

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Massachusetts is a global leader in innovation but not in civic matters

Massachusetts has been long recognized as possessing unique capacities at producing innovations that have changed the nation and the world. Whether its residents are especially gifted or they take advantage of the region’s rich institutional and financial resources, the Bay State distinguishes itself as an incubator for new ideas that work. Such new ideas and(...)

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Republican congressional candidates try to get noticed by Bay State voters-and by their own party

Republican congressional candidates try to get noticed by Bay State voters-and by their own party

Ken Chase is running for Congress, he says, to give voters a choice.”Fundamentally, there is a corruption of the process at the congressional level,” says the Medford native, who graduated from Malden Catholic High School and Boston College. “The crushing majority of races are not races at all, or there is just token opposition.” But(...)

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Wrong answer on school finances

Wrong answer on school finances

In the first week of October, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments in the Hancock school finance case. The arguments addressed the opinion issued last April by Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford that funding is constitutionally inadequate in the districts of those who brought the suit and, by extension, in high-poverty districts across the(...)

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The state still doesnt provide equal education

The state still doesnt provide equal education

June 15, 1993: an important day for education in Massachusetts. On that day, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in McDuffy v. Secretary of Education and defined the Commonwealth’s duty to educate all public school students, without regard to their personal wealth or poverty, and without regard to their district’s fiscal capacity. The SJC(...)

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