Winter 2011

Winter 2011

Grade expectations

Grade expectations

Brockton high school would seem to have every reason to be an academic also-ran, but principal Susan Szachowicz has found a way to make the urban school one of the nation's best turnaround stories.

To judge by its demographics, Brockton High School looks like lots of urban high schools that have failure written all over them. The sprawling complex is the largest public school in Massachusetts, with more than 4,100 students navigating its maze of hallways. Nearly 70 percent of them, more than twice the statewide average, come from(...)

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Winter 2011 Correspondence

Women outpace men in academics Jack Sullivan’s “False Start” (Fall ’10) stated that “women athletes at state schools….still run far behind men in nearly every measure of equal treatment.”  Focused as it was on athletics, the article failed to mention that for nearly two decades women have run well ahead of men in academic success.(...)

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Probation scandal spurs calls for public records reform

Probation scandal spurs calls for public records reform

the patronage scandal at the state’s Probation Department is prompting calls for all sorts of hiring reforms, but there is also a growing chorus of voices pushing for changes in the Public Records Law. “No matter how this goes, the public records issue has to be addressed,” says former attorney general Scott Harshbarger, who was(...)

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Piloting through shortfalls

massachusetts communities lead the nation in reaping revenues from tax-exempt properties, but the payments represent pennies on the dollar compared to what municipalities would bring in if the land were on the tax rolls. Some 84 cities and towns in Massachusetts have instituted PILOT (payments in-lieu of taxes) programs where a nonprofit—mostly hospitals and colleges(...)

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Name that malady

Name that malady

First, The Beatles, now flagellate hyperpigmentation. There’s no limit for the apps someone can download for their iPhone or iPod. The New England Journal of Medicine now has a smartphone application available for download that runs a version of the Journal’s popular Image Challenge. The app is available for $2.99. Each week, NEJM posts a(...)

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Money for nothing

Money for nothing

kathryn harper and her husband, Winston, were beside themselves one weekend in early November. The 63-year-old Salem grandmother had just scratched a $5 Massachusetts State Lottery ticket and discovered she was an instant millionaire, giving the couple money they could use to make trips, help their kids, and pay off their mortgage for a worry-free(...)

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The little college that could

The little college that could

The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston’s South End is churning out graduates at a rapid pace, demonstrating that community colleges can deliver on their promise.

Wilkelson Gedeon had his heart set on majoring in engineering at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. But the Arlington native, a self-declared procrastinator, missed the application deadline. After a friend had raved about the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Tech­nology in Boston’s South End, he applied and was accepted to the electrical technology program.(...)

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The meter is running

The meter is running

The South Shore town of Kingston is getting into the renewable energy business. In the process, it’s cashing in on one of the state’s green initiatives by transforming it from a money-saver into a money-making program.

the south shore town of Kingston is discovering that going green is not only good for the environment but good for the municipality’s bottom line. Kingston is plunging into the renewable energy business, partnering with private firms to put up giant wind turbines and a large-scale solar installation. Tapping existing state and federal subsidies and(...)

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