Summer 2009

Summer 2009

No magic bullet

No magic bullet

gov. patrick, the Boston Globe, MassINC, the Boston Foundation, the business community, and President Obama are all supporting charter schools as a key step toward school improvement, but a careful look at the data suggests that these schools offer no magic bullet for school improvement. In general, charter schools (and Boston pilot schools) perform no(...)

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A new prescription

before the year is out, Congress and the Obama administration will try to do for the entire nation what only one state, Massachusetts, has been able to do for its residents: pass a law that attempts universal health insurance coverage. On its face, the Bay State’s success — more than 430,000 newly insured residents since(...)

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Free labor market

Free labor market

INTRO TEXT when caroline huang remembers her first job out of graduate school, tension creeps into her soft-spoken voice even now, almost 20 years later. The speech recognition scientist went to work for a Massachusetts software company in 1991, and inside two years, she was eager to move. “It was very stressful,” says Huang, of(...)

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Logged in

Logged in

The Census Bureau reported in June that the number of Americans over the age of 3 living in households with Internet access inched past the two-thirds mark, to 67.1 percent, as of November 2007. But as the map below shows, regional differences persisted: In New Hampshire, having access to the Web was almost as common(...)

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Untouchable turf

Untouchable turf

You know that municipal governments are in dire financial straits when they start looking to tax-exempt properties — schools, hospitals, and other nonprofit institutions — for new revenue. Many colleges and universities make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (known as PILOT agreements) to their host communities, but that doesn’t always satisfy local officials. Remarks(...)

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Towns seek more power to curb health care costs

Towns seek more power to curb health care costs

The state of Massachusetts, facing a multibillion-dollar budget gap, plans to cut $86 million from its health insurance spending this fiscal year by unilaterally raising the percentage of premiums paid by state employees. Municipalities, under similar financial duress, are relatively paralyzed. They have to negotiate any health benefit reductions with their unions, a time-intensive and(...)

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Hub youth work to bring civics class back to public schools

Hub youth work to bring civics class back to public schools

It’s civic engagement at its finest. Like most students, Boston youth organizer Katherine Garcia, 16, had never designed a curriculum for a high school course. Roy Karp, executive director of Boston–based Civic Education Project, had never recruited students to work on one. But Garcia and five other young people joined forces with Karp and others(...)

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Boston health inspectors ease up on eatery grades

Boston health inspectors ease up on eatery grades

The city of Boston is doing away with failing grades for most of the restaurants that don’t measure up on health inspections. Thomas Goodfellow, assistant commissioner of the health division within the city’s Inspectional Services Department, says the damning word “fail” will be applied only to the relatively few restaurants that have their licenses suspended(...)

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