Spring 2000

Spring 2000

This is only a test

Kids are the canaries in the mineshaft of education reform

It’s springtime, which has come to mean not only balmy weather and blooming flowers but MCAS testing in our public schools. In April, fourth-, eighth-, and 10th-graders took their tests in English composition. In May, these students will sharpen their Number 2 pencils for subject-matter tests in four areas: English Language Arts and Literature; Mathematics;(...)

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A jaundiced emEye on Winthropem

A jaundiced emEye on Winthropem

WINTHROP — It’s a mid-winter evening, Eye on Winthrop is on the air — or, more accurately, cable — and Dick Bangs is perturbed. That in itself is not so unusual. But right now, it’s not the “disservices,” as he calls them, that state and especially municipal officials rain down on his fellow Winthrop citizens(...)

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Counterpoints

Most taxpayers would agree that it is desirable to reduce the Massachusetts income tax rate to 5 percent, especially given a state income tax burden that is one of the highest in the nation. The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation shares this view. The real question is how we can achieve that result while preserving the extraordinary(...)

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School Funding and Accountability

The state’s school-funding formula, which equalizes spending between poor and rich communities, will soon be up for debate. Massachusetts ranks 19th in per-pupil funding, but only six states spend less of their total economies on education. Next spring, the Bay State becomes the ninth (11 more to come) to make passing a 10th-grade exam a(...)

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Argument

The current economic outlook and spending controls could enable the Commonwealth to accommodate further multi-year tax cuts, if approved by the voters in November 2000, within a balanced budget.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. But I didn’t need to say it. These are the comments of Moody’s Financial Services, the most venerable of(...)

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Wormtown News

To talk with anyone privy to or affected by the sale of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to the New York Times Co., which also owns The Boston Globe, is to come away with the impression that the creation of this regional newspaper powerhouse is, in essence, a non-event. After all, the T&G already went(...)

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The Speaker Who Might Be Mayor

It was a harmless, if immodest, musing in his high-school alma mater’s alumni magazine that first cranked up the political rumor mill about Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran’s next career move. “I look at the different governors that I’ve known–Mike Dukakis, Ed King, Bill Weld, and Paul Cellucci. I’d be as good as or(...)

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Playing The Budget Surplus Game

Last year’s endless budget impasse demonstrated that it can be just as tough to decide how to spend an abundance of state revenue as it is to parcel out budget cuts. But a Brookline entrepreneur and a Boston University law professor say the four-month logjam might have been avoided if Gov. Paul Cellucci, Senate President(...)

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Mario Faces Deportation

When Armando Baptiste walked into Dorchester District Court last summer, he was hoping to settle accounts with the law and get on with his life. Indeed, not eager to draw attention to his less-than-proud past, he and the Boston youth workers who convinced him to face up to an outstanding assault charge asked that we(...)

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