Stories by Jim Stergios
MASSACHUSETTS HAS A unique culture when it comes to health care. Over the last quarter century, we have seen the business, provider, payer, consumer, and academic sectors come together to advance reforms aimed at expanding coverage and containing the cost of care. Whether it was repeal of hospital rate-setting and passing insurance reforms in the(...)
State subsidies -- an expensive mistake -- have marginal economic impact
This opinion piece has been corrected in several spots (headline and story) to reflect the fact that $1 billion has not been spent by the Massachusetts Life Science Center. Only $650 million has been spent so far, which would significantly reduce the estimated cost per job HERE WE GO again. Government giveaways to industries will benefit(...)
Focus on T’s retirement fund, not privatization efforts
HERE’S ONE THAT COULD BE A JOKE, except it actually happened. Every member of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation recently thought it would be a good idea to sign a misguided letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack urging them to avoid saving money and improving service quality at the MBTA. The letter(...)
Let’s fix the MBTA once and for all
“Competition is a good thing,” said MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve. “It drives innovation; it drives productivity.” That sums up the importance of extending the MBTA’s exemption from the Pacheco Law, the Commonwealth’s anti-privatization law. A three-year exemption from the Pacheco Law was granted as part of the 2015 emergency legislation aimed at fixing the troubled MBTA. In an announcement that raises(...)
Are Question 2 foes ready to embrace needed district schools reforms?
IT’S A NEW YEAR and the people of Massachusetts have spoken. On Question 2, a ballot initiative which would have given urban students more charter public school options, the electorate said no. Emphatically. But now that the teachers unions won the debate, they need to show the public that they can adopt the policies and practices that(...)
Turning schools over to charter operators may be the best hope for sustained improvement
TEN YEARS AGO, engulfed by Katrina, New Orleans was the site of almost unimaginable loss of life, with entire neighborhoods, including the city’s entire network of neighborhood schools, laid low. To stand up new schools and ensure improvement in educational quality in a district long characterized by high dropout rates and low student performance,(...)
Let’s invest in cities, not in transporting people out of them.
Residents of Massachusetts’ South Coast believe their region hasn’t received the state investment it deserves. They’re right. The Big Dig vacuumed money away from transportation projects across Massachusetts. More recently, the South Coast has not been a major focus of recent bridge repair projects. And, today, efforts are underway to plan new mega-projects like expanding(...)
Common Core jeopardizes ed reform
I AGREE WITH Commissioner Chester that some around K-12 education are enthusiastic about Common Core. Washington, DC-based trade groups like the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governor’s Association, Achieve, Inc., as well as federal and state administrators, tend to be big fans of Common Core. But it is worth remembering that noted(...)