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Welcome to Massachusetts, Secretary Duncan!

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is in town this Thursday for an event at the Museum of Science and what is likely to be an announcement from Governor Patrick that he is seeking to lift the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts in order to access the Race to the Top funding. Still lack of clarity on the proposal, but it seems to be looking like no quotas on specific populations and a proposed increase in the net district spending on charters from 9% to 14%. Given the reputation Massachusetts has gained over the past few years (en bref, they’re not welcoming to new charters!), this is not enough. To get KIPP and other national, proven players to declare Massachusetts […]

Thank You, Finally, Adrian Walker

It’s about time. I’ve been watching the Zoo New England drama unfold in the Globe and the Herald since the incendiary headlines in Saturday’s papers and been wondering how long it would take for someone to call the Zoo’s bluff. Now, I like the Zoo, have been there twice in the past 13 months, but I believe there are three things to keep in mind as you watch this political stand-off: 1) Apparently the Zoo’s not so poor it can’t afford it’s own PR firm. 2) The Zoo still hasn’t disclosed what the location fee was it received from the studio filming the new Kevin James movie there (Read down a few paragraphs here.) and 3) A significant number of […]

File Photo Fun at the Globe

Page A10 of today’s Globe has a background piece on Charlie Baker. Someone with a sense of humor picked out a photo of Baker in action during his tenure in the Executive Branch. It shows him seated at a table with…….current Patrick Administration Secretary of A&F Leslie Kirwan (back when she worked for Baker.)

A bit of soul searching

Matt Murphy of the Lowell Sun writes today on an issue that Pioneer has been banging the drum on for some time: the growth in the state’s payroll notwithstanding the fact that we are in a recession. (See our Countdown to Fiscal Sanity, item #9, for more.) Murphy notes that While many private-sector companies continue to shed jobs at alarming rates, state employees have been largely spared the anxiety of getting a pink slip. The state payroll, in fact, has grown by about 2,200 employees since the recession came to Massachusetts last fall, leaving roughly 98,278 workers dependent on the state for a paycheck, according to payroll records that include the University of Massachusetts and other public colleges. Meanwhile, Fall […]

Things That Irritate Me

– Lack of Legislative transparency — Our Legislature seems to work extra hard to make things hard to understand. In some cases, it is turning around 300 page bills in less than 24 hours, meaning no one can read it with any level of care. In other cases, it’s the lack of available data about pending legislation, as detailed by State House News in a article yesterday (sub. req’d). I’d note that the Connecticut Legislature has a much more sophisticated site that allows you to track bills and sign up for email updates when anything happens related to your interests. – No 311 in Boston — Boston has an iPhone app for constituent complaints but you still have to “bumble […]