Winter 2005

Winter 2005

Two and a half decades of Prop. 2 1/2

Two and a half decades of Prop. 2 1/2

Souce: Massachusetts Municipal Association (www.mma.org); state Department of Revenue, Division of Local Services (www.dls.state.ma.us) This year marks the silver anniversary of Proposition 2½, the property tax cap passed by voters in 1980. Prop. 2½ essentially limits municipal governments to a 2.5 percent increase in assessed property taxes each year, but officials can bust this cap(...)

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Legislative careers and friendships begin in the curious Beacon Hill tradition known as the freshman bullpen

Legislative careers and friendships begin in the curious Beacon Hill tradition known as the freshman bullpen

Legislative careers and friendships begin in the freshman bullpen The first day as a state representative in Massachusetts is memorable. Freshmen are surrounded by family and friends in the House chamber as the governor administers the oath of office. Afterward, the Speaker hosts a lavish reception in honor of the newcomers. Veteran legislators then file(...)

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Connecting the dots

Connecting the dots

Every once in a while, I come across people who know about CommonWealth, but have no idea it is published by MassINC. Others know full well that CommonWealth is a MassINC publication, but wonder why the magazine doesn’t focus on our research findings. Both sorts of confusion can be explained by the way MassINC does(...)

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Sarahs Long Walk chronicles the first fight for school integration in Boston  more than 150 years ago

Sarahs Long Walk chronicles the first fight for school integration in Boston more than 150 years ago

Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America By Stephen Kendrick & Paul Kendrick Boston, Beacon Press, 291 pages. In 1850, 46 years before the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that separate but equal facilities did not violate the United States(...)

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Letters

I read your article in The Boston Globe (Robert Keough, “The School Financing Conundrum,” Ideas, October 3, 2004) this morning, and reviewed the articles you cite from the fall issue of CommonWealth (Symposium: The Hancock Case), as well as Edward Moscovitch’s article that appeared in the summer issue of the magazine (“Passing Judgment“). I am(...)

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Statistically Significant

Statistically Significant

Illustrations by Travis Foster WOMEN IN THE OFFICE, MEN IN THE CLASSROOM According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Massachusetts ranks second in the percentage of employed women who hold “managerial or professional” jobs. In the Bay State, 38.3 percent of working women are in such positions, second only to Maryland’s 41.3 percent. Every(...)

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Author Peter Schrag talks about the Hancock case and the slippery concept of adequacy in education

Author Peter Schrag talks about the Hancock case and the slippery concept of adequacy in education

As of this writing, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court has yet to hand down a ruling in Hancock v. Driscoll, the latest round of educational-equity litigation that has been on the high court’s docket for more than 30 years. Not that nothing has come of the long-pending case. In McDuffy v. Secretary of Education, the(...)

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Bostons Villa Victoria shows that civic participation is hard to sustain in the best of circumstances

Bostons Villa Victoria shows that civic participation is hard to sustain in the best of circumstances

For poor rural Latin Americans with little education and almost no marketable skills, immigration to an American city with a dwindling manufacturing sector is rarely a recipe for success. Even less is to be expected when the immigrants speak no English, when the city has a reputation for antagonism against outsiders, and when the neighborhood(...)

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