Fall 1999

Fall 1999

Argument

There’s a debate brewing over whether to change the state’s school funding formula. Common wisdom (as reported in The Boston Globe) is that the aid formulas in the 1993 Education Reform Act expire in the current fiscal year and that the Legislature will have to decide what to do next. The common wisdom is wrong.(...)

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Special Education

Massachusetts is no longer in a class by itself when it comes to special education. According to figures from the federal government, Massachusetts for the first time does not lead the 50 states in special-ed enrollment. Rhode Island has taken over that distinction, with the Bay State runner-up and three other states close behind. This(...)

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Governors Proclamations

Nurses Hall in the State House is all decked out, chairs lined up before a podium, people milling around eyeing the spread of fruit, baked goods, and soft drinks for the reception to come. The cameras are rolling as Gov. A. Paul Cellucci descends the stairs, scribbles his signature, then hands out pens as souvenirs.(...)

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Governors Digs

The question usually comes up when some out-of-towner discovers that Gov. Paul Cellucci drives home to his three-bedroom house in Hudson every night. In one recent instance, a Hollywood film producer was chatting with the governor about the movie biz and Cellucci mentioned that he sees at least one film a week, sometimes two on(...)

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A Prescription for Literacy

Each year standardized tests reveal that thousands of Massachusetts schoolchildren can’t read at basic levels and each year educators are pressed for solutions. But a Boston-based, national literacy program suggests the best place to look for solutions may not be in the classroom but in the doctor’s office. Reach Out and Read, created 10 years(...)

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The Street Ministers

For urban youth, who face a world of trouble, Boston's streetworkers are doing a world of good.

LARRY MAYES IS pacing the hallway of Dorchester District Court like a man on a mission. Mayes is a youth outreach worker, more commonly known as a “streetworker,” who is employed by the Ella J. Baker House in Boston’s Four Corners neighborhood, not far from the courthouse. He’s here to advocate for a man we’ll(...)

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A Visit With David Driscoll

The first day of September was looking pretty good for Education Commissioner David Driscoll. As he sat that afternoon in the conference room adjoining his office, he could see something more than the usual view from the fifth floor of the state Department of Education headquarters in Malden–he could see education reform in Massachusetts beginning(...)

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Executive Compensation

There’s a move afoot in the Legislature to hike the salaries of the state’s six constitutional officers, who are now laboring at pay rates set six years ago. So CommonWealth set out to find how Massachusetts measures up, salary-wise, as a place to be chief executive of state government. It turns out that gubernatorial salaries,(...)

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The Case for AfterSchool Learning

In most ways, it looked like just another day at the new federal courthouse in downtown Boston. On a recent afternoon in one of the cavernous building’s wood-paneled courtrooms, Judge Joseph L. Tauro called the proceedings in a civil case to order, addressing each of the smartly dressed lawyers as “Mr.” or “Ms.” The attorneys(...)

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A fond farewell

A little over four years ago, we set out to launch a new quarterly magazine about “politics, ideas and civic life in Massachusetts.” We had studied the publications of think tanks around the country and had a clear idea of what we wanted to create. We wanted a real magazine that would complement the organization’s(...)

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