State Government

We cannot test and punish our way to better schools

We cannot test and punish our way to better schools

Time to pause on high-stakes exams and take different approach

THE CLOSER THEY ARE to actual public-school classrooms, the more Massachusetts residents understand it’s time to abandon the failed test-and-punish approach to school improvement. For two decades, we’ve seen how high-stakes standardized testing hurts students and fails to prepare them well for life. Now, there’s a growing realization that it’s time to pause, look at(...)

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Pot board finds a home

Pot board finds a home

New office to share floor – and more – with state Gaming Commission

SALT AND PEPPER. Hammer and nail. Bacon and eggs. Crimson and clover. Yin and yang. Pot and gambling. All things that apparently go together in many people’s minds. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has finally landed some temporary office space and it is in the same building – actually, on the same floor – as(...)

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Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax

Time for state to catch up on Airbnb tax

Massachusetts is leaving money on the table

STARTING NOVEMBER 1, New Hampshire became the fifth and latest New England state to allow Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of its community of hosts and guests, and remit that revenue to the state. The Granite State will join Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont – as well as more than 300 other jurisdictions(...)

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House, Senate end bickering, sign budget deal

House, Senate end bickering, sign budget deal

Bill bans bump stocks, provides $3m for gang initiative

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE DEVICES KNOWN AS BUMP STOCKS that were used in the Las Vegas shooting a month ago to turn ordinary rifles into automatic weapons would be banned in Massachusetts under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on Thursday after weeks of bickering between the House and Senate. The(...)

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Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Democracy isn’t working in Massachusetts

Crowded winner-take-all primaries, incumbency, and special elections subvert will of voters

ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1998, David Nangle, then a State House aide, was effectively elected to the Massachusetts Legislature even though 76 percent of the voters in the district where he ran chose someone else that day. Nangle won the Democratic primary for an open Lowell-based seat in the House of Representatives by garnering just 24(...)

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Flying without a PILOT

Flying without a PILOT

Don't call UMass Lowell's groundbreaking pact with the city a PILOT

Photo by Frank Curran Lowell and UMass Lowell signed a master agreement in August, committing the university to providing nearly $8 million in cash and in-kind contributions for the community over the next 20 years. The agreement includes new funds for repair and upkeep of the city-owned minor league baseball field and a commitment to(...)

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