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Yummm, 10:16 Lunch…….

The Globe Magazine has a fascinating piece on the extended school day experiment being conducted at 10 schools around the state.  It seems like such a common-sense good idea that we can only assume it will be discarded very soon. The most gripping piece of information, to this reader, was an accompanying graphic (that unhelpfully does not show up on-line) that details the change in the average school day. Before, students started the day 7:25 AM, ate lunch at 10:16 AM, and were dismissed at 1:30 PM. Plus, the sample schedule displayed allows for daily math, science, and english classes, but little else. The new schedule has the same start time and lunch time (which is still ridiculous), but adds […]

Out of the Mouths of Grad Students

Today’s Globe has two interesting articles (one unintentionally so) on our state college system. A front page article talks about growing demand from the UMASS-Boston Student Senate to build dorms, and a Derrick Jackson op-ed is a predictable call for more funding. But at the very, very end of the op-ed, a lengthy quote from a student highlights one of our major problems as a system (and one of the reasons that funding is such an issue): It feels like the flagships like Amherst are treating students more and more as consumers, trying harder to attract wealthier out-of-state students with sushi nights, lobster nights, and flat-screened TVs in lounges than figuring out how to help students who are the most […]

Will Massachusetts’ economic recovery be short-lived?

Good news, everyone. According to today’s Boston Globe, Massachusetts’ economy is growing again – and at almost 4 times the rate as that of the national economy. But, a note of caution. Massachusetts’ economic growth is imperiled by – surprise, surprise – the state’s high cost of housing. As tech companies expand, they require young, highly educated workers, precisely the demographic that has shown an aversion in recent years to settling down in old, cold and expensive Massachusetts. In a macro sense, the solution to Massachusetts’ high housing costs is a fairly straightforward one: increase the supply of housing to meet demand. The question is: does the political will exist in Massachusetts to overcome the entirely rational, though somewhat shortsighted […]

Wacky Pension Hijinks, Pt. 2?

This morning’s Globe raises some interesting questions about the recent dismissal of a legislative aide. The individual in question was fired 11 days after she had reached her twentieth year of service. The key verb is ‘fired’ (as opposed to ‘quit’). By being fired after reaching the magic 20 years of service, Section 10 of Chapter 32 is triggered, allowing employees to begin collecting their full pension before the age of 55. And curiously enough, a large percentage of those unlucky enough to be fired in this manner get fired almost immediately after reaching the 20 year mark. According to Commonwealth Magazine, one-third of the 1,100 ‘Section 10’ pensions granted since 1990 were to employees who had passed the 20 […]

Wacky Pension-Related Hijinks

Or maybe not so wacky. The estimable adamg over at Universal Hub points out this interesting nugget in today’s Herald: A veteran Boston police officer is expected to resign from the force after pleading guilty yesterday to charges he shot a fellow cop during an off-duty argument about whether he was too drunk to drive…he also indicated in court that he would turn in his badge after 27 years of service…entitling him to a city pension. [emphasis added] Pensions have been on our mind for the past year. We’ve taken a long hard look at the cost of various loopholes and the expense of underperformance at many local pension funds. We have not, however, done anything to close the loophole […]