Winter 2006

Winter 2006

Education officials grow impatient with perenially failing public schools

Education officials grow impatient with perenially failing public schools

INTRO TEXT ‘F’ is for failing, and some Massachusetts public schools have the dubious distinction of doing just that. But school turnarounds have not taken place as fast as education officials had hoped. A sizable cohort of students, especially in city schools, continues to be held back by poor academic performance, posting dismal MCAS results.(...)

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Power Failure

Power Failure

If sometime this winter you flip a light switch and nothing happens, think back to where you were on May 8, 2000—the day the electricity industry in Massachusetts started down a road that may now be leading toward rolling blackouts. The day started normally enough. Predawn temperatures hovered in the low 70s, warm but not(...)

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Crime and Puzzlement

Crime and Puzzlement

As Boston's crime-fighting miracle fades, questions arise about a tactic abandoned, and a youth culture seen as toxic

Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O’Toole wantsto use proven programs “but apply them tothe current situation.” Essdras M. Suarez, The Boston Globe When four young men were killed, execution-style, in mid-December in the makeshift basement music studio of a Dorchester home, Boston convulsed in horror over the city’s worst multiple murder in a decade. While the(...)

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Good Courts The Case for Problem Solving Justice proves that specialized courts can pay off

Good Courts The Case for Problem Solving Justice proves that specialized courts can pay off

Good Courts: The case for Problem Solving Justice By Greg Berman and John Feinblatt, with Sarah Glazer New York, The New Press, 237 pages Winter 2006 During their required course in criminal law, first-year law students study not merely the elements of crimes, but also the purposes of the criminal justice system. They learn that(...)

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Off-peak condition

Increases in the infectious disease rate and the percentage of people without health insurance, along with a drop in per-capita public health spending, caused Massachusetts to slip three notches, to ninth place, in the United Health Foundation’s annual ranking of health status in the 50 states, released in December. The Bay State peaked at third(...)

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Watertown provides a case study of citizen journalism on the web

Watertown provides a case study of citizen journalism on the web

Citizen journalist Lisa Williams wants to add to,not replace, the media mainstream. On an early-October evening at Watertown High School, Lisa Williams is in full schmooze mode. Williams, a 35-year-old mother of two, is the force behind H2otown, a weblog that combines news, photos, quirky commentary, and, above all, a running conversation about the place(...)

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