Summer 2014

Summer 2014

Summer 2014 Editor’s note

Going deep on Probation

there’s nothing in this issue about the federal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides, but that’s only because we’ve been reporting on the case extensively online at commonwealthmagazine.org. For those of you accustomed to reading just our quarterly print publication, the online coverage is worth checking out because(...)

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Applying Piketty

Applying Piketty

Five things we can do in Massachusetts to address the concentration of wealth and capital documented by author Thomas Piketty

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century must be taken as a profound challenge. Piketty’s big thesis is that wealth and capital must accumulate and concentrate—it’s the inherent nature of our economic system. It’s happened before, it’s happening right now, and he proves it. Overwhelming events like world wars, or a great depression, can reverse(...)

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Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

Not exactly party time in Massachusetts

The number of unenrolled voters is climbing to historic highs

political parties in Massachusetts are approaching a crossroads, as fewer new registrants choose to affiliate with either party and the number of unenrolled voters climbs to historic highs. Since 1978, the number of unenrolled voters in Massachusetts has soared by 97 percent, while the two major parties each added just 9 percent to their rolls.(...)

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Mr. Sunshine

Mr. Sunshine

Bringing an ad man’s optimism to the cynical world of journalism, the Boston Globe’s new CEO sees bright days ahead.

FOR SOMEONE RUNNING what many consider a dead-end business, Mike Sheehan is incredibly optimistic. The former Hill Holliday ad executive, who took over as the Boston Globe’s first-ever CEO in January, believes the newspaper can invest more in its journalism and come out ahead financially. He laid out his sunny philosophy at the unveiling of(...)

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Inching along in the market

Inching along in the market

The UMass endowment has shown impressive growth, but its conservative investment approach may be hurting it in today’s market

in 1996, when William Bulger took over as president of the University of Massachusetts, the school system was an afterthought in many ways on the college scene, both regionally and nationally. A disparate collection of five campuses with varying curricula and missions, the system was often overshadowed in academics, sports, and, especially, endowments by its(...)

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Caught in a time warp

Caught in a time warp

The NAACP’s Will Singleton says Pittsfield’s municipal government doesn’t reflect the community’s changing demographics

Members of the Berkshire County NAACP, with Will Singleton in center in drawstring pants. Will singleton didn’t know what to make of it. The retired Pittsfield native had been back in town for years, and he never saw any African Americans working in City Hall. People of color account for nearly 15 percent of the(...)

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Comeback kids

Comeback kids

At Phoenix Charter Academy in Chelsea, former dropouts aim high

JAZZMIN HERNANDEZ DOESN’T fit anybody’s profile of a likely high school graduate, never mind a soon-to-be college student. When she was 10, she and her older brother spent two years in foster care as their mother battled drug addiction. By the time she was in high school, Hernandez was back home with her mom, but(...)

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The hiring man

The hiring man

Sidestepping seniority and tenure rules, Boston principals such as William Thomas are hiring who they want.

WILLIAM THOMAS, THE headmaster at Charlestown High School, got to do something new this spring: He posted his job openings for next year and personally selected the teachers to fill them. The power to build his own team didn’t receive a lot of attention locally, but it was a revolutionary moment for the Boston Public(...)

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Summer 2014 Editor’s note

Summer 2014 Editor’s note

Going deep on Probation

there’s nothing in this issue about the federal trial of former Probation commissioner John O’Brien and two of his top aides, but that’s only because we’ve been reporting on the case extensively online at commonwealthmagazine.org. For those of you accustomed to reading just our quarterly print publication, the online coverage is worth checking out because(...)

Read More »