Entries by Alex Carlin

Cursive and Historical Literacy: A Real World Example

In the age of computers and modern convenience, the relevancy of cursive is continually called into question. Compared to the countless fonts designed with modern aesthetics, cursive seems unwieldy – and when placed side-by-side with written print, less readable. Yet across the nation students still learn how to write and read in cursive, and it is important that this practice continues. While everyday use of cursive is a relic of the past, it is still critical in ensuring historical literacy. Students should be exposed regularly to primary source documents, and these documents should be presented in their original form, adding a quaint romanticism while connecting students to the past the document represents. This requires cursive proficiency – the Declaration of […]

Auditing the New Transparency Law: Where are the Records Access Officers?

With the advent of the Baker administration, Massachusetts transparency advocates were optimistic that the statute governing public records requests would be among the laws targeted for overhaul.  The optimism proved somewhat warranted as the legislature and Governor Baker were able to reach an agreement on a long-overdue update to procedures relating to the release of public records. Pioneer has long been a critic of Massachusetts’s records laws, highlighting exemptions and the poor records compliance of the MBTA – while continuing to recommend additional action. Reform was clearly needed, as Massachusetts has consistently ranked at the bottom of the list in government transparency. In the past, the commonwealth has treated the public records law as more of a suggestion, as demonstrated […]