Winter 2011

Winter 2011

MAP shows the way

At Boston’s St. Francis House, the focus is on jobs, not group therapy

“damn, I was doing so good!” Gerry exclaims as he buries his 30-something bald head in his hands. “Then he had to ask that question.”   Gerry is one of eight people seated around a long, worn Formica table on the fourth floor of downtown Boston’s St. Francis House. They are looking at a big-screen(...)

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Congressional math

Congressional math

With the Massachusetts delegation set to shrink by one, Beacon Hill will decide how to eliminate one of 10 House seats

massachusetts legislators got the bad news in late December. And by late February or early March, they should have detailed Census figures confirming what they’ve long expected: The state’s congressional delegation is about to shrink by one, forcing Beacon Hill to choose which of the 10 US House seats to eliminate. “It’s going to be(...)

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Measurement error

Measurement error

Convention center pushes ‘place-making’ over heads on beds

the process currently underway to determine how—not whether—to expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) offers yet another example of the need for real public sector accountability. Last year, the Massachusetts Convention Center Auth­ority (MCCA) assembled the Convention Partnership to consider expanding what is already New England’s biggest building.  Heavy with tourism industry officials(...)

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Job action

Job action

A decade after the first call to action, it's time to get our workforce development house in order

january 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of MassINC’s New Skills for a New Economy report. The report’s main finding that 1.1 million workers in Massachusetts—a third of the state’s workforce —lacked skills essential to the “new economy” was broadcast far and wide. In one fell swoop, an issue that previously generated very little attention was(...)

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A call to reason

A call to reason

Despite the urge to clamp down hard on all sexual offenders, evidence supports a more nuanced approach

since the mid-1990s, legislatures around the country have pursued a continuing and escalating course of action, from registration and community notification laws to civil commitment procedures, targeting individuals who have been convicted of sex-related offenses. From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill, the sex offender registration laws are enacted with great fervor. Despite the political popularity(...)

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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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