Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

About Michael Jonas

Michael Jonas has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since the early 1980s. Before joining the CommonWealth staff in early 2001, he was a contributing writer for the magazine for two years. His cover story in CommonWealth's Fall 1999 issue on Boston youth outreach workers was selected for a PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

Michael got his start in journalism at the Dorchester Community News, a community newspaper serving Boston's largest neighborhood, where he covered a range of urban issues. Since the late 1980s, he has been a regular contributor to the Boston Globe. For 15 years he wrote a weekly column on local politics for the Boston Sunday Globe's City Weekly section.

Michael has also worked in broadcast journalism. In 1989, he was a co-producer for "The AIDS Quarterly," a national PBS series produced by WGBH-TV in Boston, and in the early 1990s, he worked as a producer for "Our Times," a weekly magazine program on WHDH-TV (Ch. 7) in Boston.

Michael lives in Dorchester with his wife and their two daughters.

Stories by Michael Jonas

Scores drop on new, more rigorous MCAS

Scores drop on new, more rigorous MCAS

State officials say results highlight need to raise expectations

SCORES ON THE state’s revamped MCAS test took a big dip, but state officials say that’s because the test got harder, not because student performance got worse. About half of students statewide in 3rd through 8th grade were “meeting expectations” or “exceeding expectations,” the top two categories out of four used in the new English(...)

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Brownsberger’s big tent

Brownsberger’s big tent

Senator woos supporters and skeptics at rally for criminal justice bill

IF POLITICS IS a game of addition, put Sen. Will Brownsberger down in the plus column. The lead sponsor of a sweeping criminal justice reform bill convened a marathon rally on behalf of the legislation at the State House that started on Thursday morning and ended in the afternoon. No fewer than 29 speakers took(...)

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Trading gangs and guns for a future

Trading gangs and guns for a future

Can we get young men to give up the dead-end life of the streets?

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK OSTOW HAKEEM JACKSON DOESN’T mince words. “Just a couple of years ago I was shooting at people,” he says. A wiry 20-year-old with an affable bearing, Jackson is sitting at the Boston offices of Roca Inc., a nonprofit that works with young people who have been in and out of jail and(...)

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Challenging DeLeo

Challenging DeLeo

House speaker facing a revolt from the outside

HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO has a challenger—but it’s not a member of the chamber he oversees. The insurgency is coming instead from a 27-year-old Franklin resident who says he’s grown weary of the consolidation of House power in the office of one man. “We don’t think the speaker should have the amount of power he(...)

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Middlesex DA Ryan backs mandatory minimum repeal 

Middlesex DA Ryan backs mandatory minimum repeal 

Joins Suffolk’s Conley in supporting parts of Senate bill

MIDDLESEX DISTRICT ATTORNEY Marian Ryan said she supports many pieces of the Senate criminal justice bill unveiled last week, including the repeal of some mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. “I support elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent, low-level drug offenses that do not include distribution of opioids or distribution to minors,” Ryan(...)

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Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Senate goes big on criminal justice bill

Sweeping proposal would touch most parts of system

THE SENATE IS poised to consider a wide-ranging criminal justice bill that would reform everything from the bail system to mandatory minimum sentences and fees and penalties that weigh heavily on low-income defendants. The bill aims not only to reduce incarceration rates, but to eliminate various ways people get tripped up by a system that(...)

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Hospital care shifting to high-cost medical centers

Hospital care shifting to high-cost medical centers

‘Troubling’ trends following mergers have health commission worried

HOSPITAL ACQUISITIONS BY large Massachusetts provider networks are leading to more patients receiving care in higher-cost teaching hospitals and fewer patients being cared for in community hospitals, according to data presented Monday afternoon by the state Health Policy Commission. The trends are moving in the opposite direction of what health policy leaders have long declared(...)

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Mass. rating plan deemed unfair to high-poverty schools

Mass. rating plan deemed unfair to high-poverty schools

Report faults state system for not using ‘growth’ as bigger factor

MASSACHUSETTS GETS A poor grade from a Washington-based policy organization on how its plan to comply with a new federal education law treats schools with high rates of poverty. But a number of education policy thinkers in the state are pushing back against the report and say its message undermines an important pillar of education(...)

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Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Tired of waiting, Dempsey exits House for lobbying firm

Decision indicates DeLeo is not retiring anytime soon

THE PERCEIVED HEIR APPARENT to House Speaker Robert DeLeo said on Thursday that he is stepping down to take a top job at the high-powered lobbying firm ML Strategies, a move that suggests the speaker is not inclined to retire anytime soon. Rep. Brian Dempsey of Haverhill, the chairman of the House Ways and Means(...)

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