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Charter Colleges: Balancing Freedom and Accountability

Author: Robert O. Berdahl and Terrence J. MacTaggart This paper applies the charter school idea to public higher education. It makes the case that deregulation coupled with a charter or agreement with the state will enable institutions to operate more efficiently and will produce higher quality educational results. The argument is based on research comparing highly regulated institutions with more independent colleges across the country, as well as interviews with a number of educational, public policy, and political leaders in Massachusetts. The authors draw on the history of Michigan as well as the more recent experience in New Jersey. Charter Colleges: Balancing Freedom and Accountability

Flawed Forecasts: A Critical Look at Convention Center Studies

Author : Heywood T. Sanders, Trinity University The analyses and forecasting presented in convention center feasibility studies rest in part on assumptions about future demand and supply of convention space at both the national and local levels, developed from data supplied by trade groups. Facility size, amenities, and location combine to give specific venues some degree of market appeal and perceived competitiveness. These attributes are quantified through surveys and other means and used to predict event bookings and attendance for each venue, given either current capacity or a planned expansion. These predictions, in turn, inform the calculation of likely direct and indirect economic benefits to the community of building or expanding a convention center. This paper takes a hard look […]

Economic Opportunity in Boston: An Index of the Regulatory Climate for Small Entrepreurs

Edited by David J. Bobb Economic Opportunity in Boston: An Index of Economic Opportunity for Small Entrepreneurs provides a first look at the costs of regulatory mandates on small business in Boston. In the absence of other serviceable attempts to assess the consequences of regulatory barriers on small businesses, it seeks to establish a framework for measuring the cost of regulation and for weighing these costs against the benefits they may provide. The preparation of the Index was motivated by the question of whether and to what degree an entrepreneurially inclined individual, who is able and hardworking, can succeed in Boston today. With a proud history firmly anchored in enterprise, New England—and Boston in particular—has long enjoyed the reputation of […]

The Cost of Inaction: Does Massachusetts Need Public Construction Reform?

Author: Douglas D. Gransberg, University of Oklahoma As debate continues over reform of public construction in Massachusetts, Douglas Gransberg, associate professor of construction science at the University of Oklahoma, offers two significant contributions: First, he has employed a vast collection of data to measure the efficiency of the Design- Bid-Build process currently in use in the Commonwealth. And, in so doing, he has neatly separated the issue of efficiency from the fear of corruption that in the 1970s spawned the Ward Commission and continues to inspire opposition to reform. The truth of the matter is that the two issues—corruption and reform—can and should be debated separately. There is no evidence correlating the use of alternative procurement methods with an anomalous […]