Winter 2000

Winter 2000

Counterpoints

MCAS: Almost overnight it has become a household term in Massachusetts. Yet the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System remains misunderstood by many students, teachers, and parents. What, is the MCAS meant to do? What part should it play in the reform of public education in Massachusetts? To begin with, the MCAS tests must be aligned with(...)

Read More »

Argument

With our 1991 publication Every Child a Winner!, the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education (MBAE) presented the Commonwealth with a challenge to elevate standards of academic achievement for all students. Our members, concerned about the poor preparation of graduates from the state’s public schools, proposed a set of dramatic reforms that ultimately became the foundation(...)

Read More »

Voters Young And Old

It’s not a sprawling metropolis, a center of industry, or an academic mecca, but West Tisbury takes the MVP Award. Most Voter Participation, that is. In the second of CommonWealth‘s occasional reviews of voter turnout across the state, this small town on Martha’s Vineyard takes the prize for the highest percentage of registered voters going(...)

Read More »

Two Bits For Massachusetts

The Connecticut charter tree and the Georgia peach will soon have to compete for pocket space with the Massachusetts man and his musket. In early February, the Massachusetts state quarter should enter circulation. The coin marks the state’s participation in the US Mint’s “Commemorative Quarter” series, which is responsible for all those strange-looking coins that(...)

Read More »

The Budgets Fine Print

In layman’s terms, they’re addenda to the state’s annual budget. In Beacon Hill lingo, they’re called “outside sections,” sections of the budget law outside the actual appropriations. But in State House political culture, they’re lawmaking on the sly. The easiest way to put proposals into law is to slip it into the budget. That way(...)

Read More »

Revving up the Registry

Ah, the Registry. It’s the state agency everyone loves to hate. But Massachusetts drivers may just have to start looking for a new public-sector scapegoat. That is, if the new Registrar of Motor Vehicles, on the job since September, can do the governmental equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Daniel A. Grabauskas,(...)

Read More »

Primary Politicos

The latest configuration of the presidential primary season–we’ll be voting on March 7, the same day as California, New York, Ohio and four other New England states–makes the Massachusetts balloting less consequential than ever. But that’s not enough to keep Bay State politics junkies out of the Big Game. In every race since US Sen.(...)

Read More »

Turning Heads and Profits

Joanna Lau remembers one of the first big defense industry meetings she ever went to, in the early ’90s. When she entered the room, she was the only woman in the place. All heads turned in the meeting room: 185 men in military uniforms and pin-stripes gaping at the Chinese woman in the peach suit.(...)

Read More »

Order In The Courts

Last fall’s Governor’s Council battles to confirm Margaret Marshall as chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court and the appointment of Francis Spina and Judith Cowin to the state’s highest court turned out to be every bit the sideshow one might expect from a court system long considered something of a circus. The courts stand(...)

Read More »

Making it in Massachusetts

Deep in the heart of the vast, 175,000 square foot production floor at the Riverside Manufacturing Co. in New Bedford, where sewing machines clatter and pressing machines spew out steam, lies Santa Cardoso’s kingdom. There, the women of Assembly 2 put the finishing touches on Giorgio Armani men’s suits and Joseph Abboud blazers. They sew(...)

Read More »