Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Made in Massachusetts

Made in Massachusetts

nowadays we expect to see actors, athletes, and other celebrities used to sell products. Things were much different a century ago, when goods got their props from doe-eyed, rosy-cheeked boys and girls. Images of cherubic-looking youngsters were used to advertise things any kid would want, of course, like bicycles, chocolates, and lace-up shoes. They were(...)

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Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures

buildings matter. They temper our mood, refract our ambitions and sensibilities. At their best, they might inspire us to behave better. “We want [buildings] to shelter us,” says essayist Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness (Pantheon, 2006). “And we want them to speak to us—to speak to us of whatever we find important(...)

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Down town

Down town

Following one failed comeback scheme after another, Malden may finally get smart

smart-growth policies are often associated with leafy suburbs in commuter rail territory (see Town Meeting Monitor). So it’s easy to forget that there are older cities in Massachusetts that already have all the right elements—high density, mixed-use zoning, extensive public transit—and have still fallen short of the urban village ideal. The city of Malden, where(...)

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Tax and mend

Tax and mend

asked why he’s taken a lead role in the bid by House Democrats this year to enact an overhaul of the little-known alternative minimum tax, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield points to Maggie Rauh, a Chicopee accountant and mother of three in his western Massachusetts district. Rauh and her husband are among the many(...)

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AN OPPORTUNE TIME FOR COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Once I got past the inflammatory cover headline (“College Try: Why Aren’t Mass. Community Colleges Making the Grade?” CW, Spring ’07), I was glad to see CommonWealth present such a thoughtful and balanced assessment of the challenges and the potential of our state’s community colleges. This is a timely topic. Gov. Deval Patrick acknowledged as(...)

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On second thought

On second thought

Smart-growth forces enjoy a reversal of fortune in Kingston

UPDATE: Kingston’s Place turned out to be far from a done deal. The developer pulled the plug on the project in 2010. kingston — Residential growth, smart or otherwise, is rarely an easy sell in the outer Boston suburbs. Townsfolk fear that too many new homes and residents will erode the quality of life that(...)

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MCAS is a national model for accountability

the anti-mcas activists may not want to hear this, but the MCAS graduation requirement is here to stay. The data does not lie: Our children are learning more, achieving more, and surpassing their peers nationwide. The MCAS graduation requirement brought true accountability to the state’s public schools, and it allows employers to feel confident in(...)

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Statistically Significant

Statistically Significant

Illustrations by Travis Foster Maybe it’s a subliminal reminder to do well in school, but girls’ names ending in “a” are all the rage in Massachusetts. According to the Social Security Administration, the top five names for newborn girls in the Bay State last year were Ava, Isabella, Emma, Sophia, and Olivia. Nationally, the top(...)

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Ed reform must move beyond MCAS

the education reform Act of 1993 established curriculum frameworks for our public schools and mandated a way “to measure outcomes and results regarding student performance, and to improve the effectiveness of curriculum and instruction.” It also required “a variety of assessment instruments…assessing whether students are meeting the academic standards…as much as practical, such instruments shall(...)

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