Opinion

Employers can help with student debt

Employers can help with student debt

Tax breaks would incentivize firms to provide aid

AS THE STUDENT DEBT CRISIS worsens, elected officials are turning to college affordability as their primary policy solution. New York is implementing tuition-free public higher education through its Excelsior Scholarship, and our neighbors to the south are close to making two years of college free through the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship. Right here in Massachusetts,(...)

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Getting to yes on MassHealth

Getting to yes on MassHealth

State leaders need to work together to tackle Medicaid challenge

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(...)

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Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Eminent domain reform needed in Massachusetts

Power should be limited, particularly at local level

UNDER OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, there are various powers that are absolute and from which there are no appeal.  One example of such a power would be the president’s pardon or executive clemency power.  A president can, theoretically, pardon anyone for a federal crime for any reason or for no reason.  Another example, a little(...)

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Time to update state school funding formula

Time to update state school funding formula

The current system is leaving poor districts and high-needs students behind

FOR SOME POLICYMAKERS and the public, a billion-dollar budget such as the one granted to Boston Public Schools last fiscal year appears robust — even excessive. But teachers like me know that critical resources are in short supply. Every day, we feel the pinch: There aren’t enough support staff in the building, teachers use personal(...)

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Package store leader has it wrong

Package store leader has it wrong

Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving

FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“). Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections(...)

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Letters to editor, Summer 2017

Letters to editor, Summer 2017

PREP SCHOOL CLAIM SPECIOUS While I applaud Michael Jonas’s commitment to presenting all sides of the ongoing debate that surrounds  the operation and performance of Massachusetts’s public vocational- technical high schools, I must respond to some of the opinions shared in the article (“Voc-tech tension,” Spring 2017). The idea that the Commonwealth’s public vocational schools(...)

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The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

The invisible hand of Gordon van Welie

Power grid operator too preoccupied with pipelines

OUR GRID OPERATOR, ISO New England, celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. For two decades, the ISO has been in charge of keeping the lights on throughout the region, coordinating the flow of electricity to power plants. As we become more aware of the consequences of different sources of energy production – from climate change(...)

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Warren the redistributionist

Warren the redistributionist

Atlantic magazine article misreads senator's stand on growing income disparity

THE CURRENT ISSUE of The Atlantic carries an article by its national editor, Franklin Foer, entitled “What’s Wrong with the Democrats.” In it, he argues that the Democratic Party should become a party of liberal populism. He devotes part of the piece to Massachusetts’s own senior senator, Elizabeth Warren, because he likes her version of liberal(...)

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Let’s rehabilitate moms, not lock them up

Let’s rehabilitate moms, not lock them up

Incarceration-based drug policies make no sense

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, I met Sylvia, a smart, talented mother with dreams – like most moms – for her family, despite experiencing homelessness. Formerly in prison for a non-violent drug offense and caught in the cross hairs of the growing mass incarceration movement, she held on to her aspirations despite numerous roadblocks, pursuing work, housing,(...)

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Where Mass. ranks on education tests

Where Mass. ranks on education tests

At K-12 and college levels, state does well

IN THE SEASON OF GRADUATIONS, it is worth looking at how Massachusetts and Boston stack up against international competitors in education. According to global university rankings and international school achievement tests, Massachusetts ranks near the top in global education excellence. According to the respected Academic Rankings of World Universities (the Shanghai rankings), when population is(...)

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