Spring 2003

Spring 2003

The Legislature splits the difference between Dr Seuss and the ducklings

From Mayzie to Mrs. Mallard, our official children’s tales are telling Last December, a sundered Massachusetts was united by a compromise worthy of the greatest statesmen. Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book about how the Mallard family settled in the Public Gardens, Make Way for Ducklings, had been the odds-on favorite to become the “Official Children’s(...)

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Letters

The commonly used measures of state and local tax burden – revenues per capita and in proportion to personal income – are both apples-and-oranges comparisons, primarily because the revenues are not exclusively from personal taxes. But CommonWealth‘s attempt to improve upon these flawed methods by charting average tax burden as a percentage of median household(...)

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Gale force

Gale force

Cape Cod Times blasts offshore wind farms

For there is a health along this golden shore,Climbing the dunes and hearing sea birds cry,Braving the winds and stormy ocean’s roarUnder an endless blue or cloudy sky;Then, freed at last, on soaring, flashing wingsin perfect tune the human spirit soars. This paean to the Cape Cod seascape, from Dennis poet Elizabeth Wysor, affixed atop(...)

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Two books explore the achievement gap between white and minority students

Two books explore the achievement gap between white and minority students

Bridging the Achievement GapEdited by John E. Chubb and Tom LovelessBrookings Institution Press, Washington, DC, 236 pages. Young, Gifted, and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American StudentsBy Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, and Asa Hilliard IIIBeacon Press, Boston, 176 pages. There was something almost surreal about the official reaction (expressions of relief) to and the press(...)

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Everyone wants to write the definitive definition of the American Dream

Everyone wants to write the definitive definition of the American Dream

In the beginning, there was land ownership. American colonists understood the concept, American Indians didn’t, and the result was a nation that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we have air rights, a concept that allows property owners to profit from the nothingness above them. Speculators buy the empty space above buildings, parking(...)

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Counterpoint

No one knows better than teachers how bad things were in some of our school districts during the recession of the early 1990s. Holyoke had classrooms crammed with more than 40 students, most of them poor and many of them recent immigrants. There were no state curriculum standards. Our school buildings were ranked among the(...)

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Mitt sends his missionaries to Capitol Hill

Mitt sends his missionaries to Capitol Hill

The Congressional Pig Book, published annually by the Washington, DC-based Citizens Against Government Waste, is supposed to shame the states that are the biggest recipients of pork-barrel spending–and the members of Congress who champion dubious federal outlays. But the Massachusetts congressional delegation, as well as state officials, must have felt a different sort of embarrassment(...)

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