Winter 2010

Winter 2010

Correspondence

Correspondence

IT’S TIME TO LEARN WHAT WORKS IN THE CLASSROOM Who doesn’t want to believe that teachers matter? It makes intuitive sense. It’s what any good teacher knows instinctively. And now there’s mounting evidence to support the notion that the quality of teaching in the classroom impacts the performance and engagement of the students in that(...)

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Hail to the chief

Hail to the chief

Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret Marshall says funding the state court system properly is not a choice but a constitutional mandate

Margaret Marshall ushers me down a series of hallways, turning on lights as she goes. It’s nearly 5 p.m. on the 10th anniversary of her appointment as chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and Marshall wants to show me the consultation room where she and her six colleagues deliberate. It’s a large wood-paneled(...)

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Probation head responds to reports of excessive spending

Some see a haven for patronage

john j. o’brien, the reclusive state commissioner of probation, is coming out of his shell. Faced with two reports suggesting that spending at his agency is excessive, O’Brien is suddenly talking. Well, not talking exactly, but sending out emails and letters through his spokeswoman denying many of the accusations and suggesting that his agency is(...)

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All aboard

Can the new Massachusetts transportation board get things moving?

Sen. Steven Baddour, the co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation, was ticked off. The five members of the new Massachusetts Department of Transportation board of directors had been invited to appear before a November oversight hearing called by the committee. Only one showed up. The Methuen Democrat made it clear he wasn’t happy.(...)

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Stepping up

Filling Ted Kennedy's shoes isn't going to be easy, so John Kerry is stressing teamwork

When Edward Kennedy died in August, the country lost one of its most able lawmakers, a liberal who could cross the aisle on issues ranging from education to immigration. For Massachusetts, the loss was more visceral. During nearly 47 years in the Senate, Kennedy used his seniority, his family name, and his own persuasive skills(...)

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Entrances and exits

Entrances and exits

Each year, the state’s Department of Public Health releases two thick reports on vital statistics: Massachusetts Births and Massachusetts Deaths. To mark the new year, we’ve culled some of the major data points from the reports for 2007 (reports for 2008 will come out later this spring) and noted comparisons with the latest available data(...)

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Nonprofit shows results with troubled kids

Nonprofit shows results with troubled kids

where some see reason for despair, Matt Stone sees possibility. Stone is the Massachusetts manager for Youth Villages, a nonprofit that aims to replace some residential services for troubled youth with intensive in-home counseling. Founded in Tennessee in 1986, Youth Villages expanded throughout the southeast and, in 2007, opened its first Bay State office. Stone(...)

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