Winter 2017

Winter 2017

Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Rural schools caught in ‘death spiral’

Enrollment changes can have big impact in sparsely populated districts

ON A SUNNY October day, students play at recess outside Hawlemont Elementary School tucked into the wooded hills of Charlemont, which are electric with fall color. As they head back to class, Wayne Kermenski, the principal, calls them over to visit the animals behind the school’s newly constructed post-and-beam barn. They jump at the opportunity.(...)

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Renewables not cheap

Renewables not cheap

Wind, solar far higher cost than ‘polluting energy’ sources

IN DECEMBER, A company called CleanChoice Energy mailed out a sales pitch to electricity customers in eastern Massachusetts. The letter acknowledged that 100 percent renewable energy from solar and wind would cost “a little more” than “polluting energy,” but said the added expense was worth it. “That’s because the energy you are choosing is better(...)

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T subsidy confusion

T subsidy confusion

Passenger subsidies rise -- but maybe not

THE MBTA’S OPERATING subsidy per passenger seemed to increase last year compared to the year before, but officials say the primary difference was in how the figures were calculated. In 2015, the T said the subsidy per passenger on the Red, Orange, and Blue lines was 61 cents. That compared to $1.39 per passenger on(...)

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Contributing to debate

Contributing to debate

Public school debate teams give students more than just a good argument

Microphilanthropy is an occasional feature that calls attention to small acts of generosity that people do for the benefit of others and highlights little-known needs that could benefit from generosity, even on a small scale. IF YOU WENT to a high school with reasonable resources, there was almost certainly a debate team. It’s possible the(...)

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Lessons from Singapore 

Lessons from Singapore 

Known for its high-achieving schools, the nation offers Massachusetts a vision for 21st century teaching and learning

ON DECEMBER 6, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the results of the 2015 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an assessment administered in 72 nations every three years that measures 15-year-old students’ skills in reading, mathematics, and science literacy. Massachusetts students did very well and placed toward the top of the(...)

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Correspondence, Winter 2017

Crime and punishment  It seems like kids growing up in neighborhoods like this have a really tough choice: “Fit in” with those causing trouble or follow the law but potentially risk their own safety. This sounds like another example of where mandatory minimums do more harm than good. This kid wanted to stay out of(...)

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