Opinion

Achievement gaps tell disturbing tale of two states

Achievement gaps tell disturbing tale of two states

Disparities in third grade reading levels should not be tolerated

MASSACHUSETTS HAS THE best schools in America and some of the highest performing districts. We would not stand for it if three-quarters of the third-graders in Newton or Weston or Wellesley could not read at grade level. Unfortunately, we allow this to be a fact of life in Holyoke, Chelsea, and Lawrence. Alongside our best(...)

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Have you gone on a pilgrimage?

Have you gone on a pilgrimage?

Everyone should set personal goals and try to reach them

Photographs from Jarrett Barrios’s Facebook page. HE’S IN A SELF-IMPOSED NEWS BLACKOUT so he won’t be reading this. At least not for a while. My friend Jarrett Barrios — a former Massachusetts state representative and senator, now CEO of the Los Angeles Region Red Cross — is walking the famous Camino de Santiago in northern(...)

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An investment in government transparency

An investment in government transparency

Former Microsoft CEO Ballmer funds new site to track spending

LAST TUESDAY WAS tax day, and like many people I got to wondering where my hard-earned money went. Sure, there is the broad mission statement enshrined in the Constitution’s preamble — to “establish justice, ensure the domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,” and “promote the general welfare.” But that leaves out a lot details(...)

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A Republican path to ACA reform?

A Republican path to ACA reform?

GOP should work to amend, not end, health law

IF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and Congressional Republicans were to decide that fixing rather than destroying the Affordable Care Act, especially its private health insurance marketplaces, was in their self-interest, could they do it?  And, could they do it in a way that aligns with Republican policy preferences? The answer to both questions is “yes” –(...)

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Tackling transportation in the suburbs

Tackling transportation in the suburbs

Public-private partnerships key in Newton and Needham

IF GREATER BOSTON HAS AN ACHILLES HEEL, it’s transportation. This was the number one issue when we launched the N2 Innovation District in Newton and Needham and it remains a major hurdle today. It’s also cited as a key impediment to growth in a recent MassEcon report about why companies locate to or within the(...)

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Shadow vs $: It’s the wrong debate

Shadow vs $: It’s the wrong debate

This is not how a world-class city manages development

THE WINTHROP SQUARE DEVELOPMENT proposed by Millennium Partners is not about the shadows on the Public Garden.  It’s about the fact that every major development proposal in Boston seems to be a new discussion, as if we’ve never seen such a thing before.  And each new development appears to be negotiated in complete isolation, apart(...)

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The great union loophole

The great union loophole

Labor can donate to pols, but not businesses

NEWLY SEATED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE Neil Gorsuch once wrote, “There is something distinct, different, and more problematic afoot when the government selectively infringes on a fundamental right.” The Massachusetts union loophole, upheld last week in Superior Court, does just that. The union loophole allows unions to contribute up to $15,000 to state candidates, while limiting(...)

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The inside story of No Boston Olympics

The inside story of No Boston Olympics

How a small band of smart, young Bostonians upended powerbrokers' dreams of Olympic glory

Two years ago Boston was in the midst of an epic showdown over whether to proceed with a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. In January 2015, Boston was designated the US entry in the international sweepstakes, and the odds of the city landing the global spectacle seemed favorable, given that no US city(...)

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DCR is an agency without a vision

DCR is an agency without a vision

Budget cuts are deliberate disinvestment in state’s parks

KUDOS TO THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION for stepping in to help the Department of Conservation andRecreation (DCR) focus on its core expertise – parks and parkways stewardship – by taking management of two state piers off DCR’s crowded plate. But changing day-to-day management responsibilities doesn’t solve the long-term problems our park system faces. That system continues(...)

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State needs to help with college funding

State needs to help with college funding

Resentment and anger building on campuses

YOU CAN OFTEN FIND ME and a few students at a table in the basement of the Northern Essex Community College Library while we discuss various issues that face our classmates. We are the Student Senate, and every week we sit around the same table to ponder strategy. Recently we reviewed the 2018 budget situation(...)

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