Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Time for a renovation

Time for a renovation

We need to update our approach to K-12 education to meet the challenges of
the new century

our region and nation are coping with how to meet the economic and civic demands of the 21st century. The economic downturn has placed heightened attention on these demands, but the writing has been on the wall for some time. Both our economy and our way of life are evolving at an unprecedented rate. At(...)

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Job prospects

Job prospects

the no. 1 issue on the minds of voters this year is jobs, and politicians on Beacon Hill are responding with a flurry of proposals. Most of them fall in one of two categories. They’re either initiatives to create jobs directly or calls for more systemic changes in tax and regulatory policies to foster an(...)

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Tax cap courts tragedy

Tax cap courts tragedy

Proposition 2 1/2 has been a godsend for taxpayers, but it may contain the seeds of its own destruction

scholars often differ on whether the title character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth was the play’s hero or villain. The same could be said about Proposition 2½. Macbeth initially saved a kingdom that he ultimately puts into peril. Frankly, hasn’t Prop. 2½ done the same? Like the Macbeth debate, the answer about the virtue of Prop. 2½(...)

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Correspondence

Correspondence

The BRA and Faneuil Hall I read your stories about the Boston Redevelopment Authority carefully. (See “Money Machine” and “City Workers Tap BRA Housing Program,” CW, Winter 2010.) I think they were quite well done (as was the entire edition). I believe there is one error of which you should be aware. Specifically, Ed Logue(...)

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Putting teachers on notice

Putting teachers on notice

Rhode Island's new education commissioner, Deborah Gist, is shaking up the status quo, drawing national praise — and scorn — in the process. The former elementary school teacher says her focus is on improving schools, not making headlines.

When it comes to efforts to turn around failing schools, the nation’s smallest state is making some of the biggest waves. In January, Rhode Island’s new education commissioner, Deborah Gist, set in motion a review of local schools that led to the firing of the entire staff at Central Falls High School, a chronically low-performing(...)

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Charters are closing the gap

Charters are closing the gap

Student academics, not racial demographics, are what counts

Read the opposite view in “A Setback for Diversity” here. for decades, education policymakers have attempted to bridge the yawning achievement gap between affluent white students and poor black and Latino students. Each attempt has failed, leaving new generations of poor, urban minorities with an inadequate educational foundation to succeed in an increasingly competitive market.(...)

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A setback for diversity

A setback for diversity

Studies suggest that charter schools contribute to racial and socioeconomic segregation

Read the response to “A Setback for Diversity” here. prodded by financial incentives offered by the Obama administration, Massachusetts and most other states are loosening restrictions on establishing charter schools. These schools, publicly funded and free from traditional oversight, are viewed by some as laboratories where educators can experiment with new ways of teaching students.(...)

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Northeastern program aims to keep students past their first year

Northeastern program aims to keep students past their first year

on the path to keeping kids in college, Northeastern University has so far met with considerable success — and encountered a few big surprises. Foundation Year, an NU pilot program during the 2009-2010 academic year, offers new graduates of the Boston Public Schools a highly structured first year of college in order to improve their(...)

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