Winter 2000

Winter 2000

Politics: A Trivial Pursuit

By early December, most of us had read quite enough about the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, not to mention the most amazing athletes and most appalling crimes. We’d like to point out that the art of politics has also changed a great deal in the past 100 years — in Massachusetts more than(...)

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Chemical Reaction

Machines stamp, whir, and grunt loudly in Plant B of the Acushnet Rubber Co. in New Bedford. The stench of rubber fills the vast space of the century-old factory, as workers churn out gaskets, wiper blades, and other rubber products used by auto makers and office-equipment manufacturers. High tech it isn’t. But forward-thinking is still(...)

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Schools and unions

In Brockton, they helped establish a Horace Mann Charter School that serves high school dropouts; in this, the school’s second year, enrollment has doubled to 110 students. In Worcester, they collaborated with the school administration to establish grants to nurture up-and-running innovative educational programs of proven effectiveness. In Brookline, they monitored renovation of the high(...)

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A new team

With this issue, we are pleased to announce several changes in the staffing of CommonWealth. First and foremost, we welcome Robert Keough as editor. A distinguished journalist and researcher, Bob Keough has covered the people and politics of Massachusetts for nearly 20 years. Bob got his start in journalism as editor of Dorchester Community News,(...)

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Dishing the dirt

Not quite a year ago, Eric Fehrnstrom wrote a remarkable mea culpa for Boston magazine. Entitled “The Other Side of the Hill,” the essay traced Fehrnstrom’s journey from political reporter to political actor. His move from State House bureau chief for the Boston Herald to spokesman (and assistant state treasurer) for Joe Malone was not(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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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(...)

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