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Two-fer from the Globe

Yesterday’s editorial in the Globe on the Governor’s veering away from support for MCAS was spot on. It’s a must read. Today, again, the right stuff and the right tone on the Quincy teachers’ strike (click here). The money quotes (not in the order presented in today’s paper) are: The Quincy strike — which was still under way as of yesterday evening — is illegal under state law, and should be ended immediately. Like municipal leaders across the state, Quincy Mayor William Phelan can’t keep asking the city’s taxpayers to pay the same share of escalating healthcare costs, which in Quincy have almost doubled since 2002. A bill before the Legislature would allow cities and towns to purchase insurance for […]

Market approaches to blogging

Subsequent to a number of emails on the post mentioning Tom Waits, which ranged from deranged and delightful to slightly frightful, I have decided to push the celebrity mention scheme for drawing traffic to the blog. Here goes: Paris Hilton Lindsay Lohan Brad Pitt George Clooney Please note that, henceforth, in accordance with Pioneer General Laws, Chapter 39B, Section 3(a)4.t: All blog entries forthwith must begin with, or within the first 17 1/2 words utilize celebrity names according to the provisions set forth in the present statute. No more than two names shall appear in the blog title, which shall appear at the top of the blog entry. Up to three names can appear in the first 17 1/2 words […]

Great Moments in Powerpoint

No, not the Gettysburg Address. (Full site is here.) At a recent conference for government procurement officers, the chief procurement officer of the Director of National Intelligence’s office gave a powerpoint presentation. She hid the labels on Slide 11 that gave our national intelligence budget, but after it was posted online, you could double click on the chart to see the (understandably classified) actual numbers. Using the data on Slide 11, and dividing by the ratio on Slide 10, inquiring minds now know that our government spends $56.52 billion on intelligence. Ooops. Tip of the pen to Slate for the initial links.

Worcester’s Heroine of Education Reform

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Roberta Schaefer of the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) for all her hard work and efforts on the Board of Education (BOE) over the last 11 years. Roberta’s work on the BOE has been both tireless and exemplary. And, like Tom Birmingham , Roberta is worried about the future of education reform in Massachusetts. As she has told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the appointment of MCAS opponent Ruth Kaplan to the BOE highlights a disquieting trend: This appointment, coupled with the governor’s refusal to fund the Education Quality and Accountability Board and the recent legislative hearings directed at removing MCAS as a graduation requirement, unfortunately indicate that the governor and his legislative allies […]

Tom Waits and Jack Markell running for Governor of Delaware

From a website (DownWithAbsolutes) that is so cool it starts with a quote from Tom Waits (“I offer champagne to real friends, but real pain to sham friends.”), we get the news that Jack Markell (D), three-time State Treasurer (click here for his website), has thrown his hat in the ring in the race to become governor. Jack would be dumb not to run. I mean this guy won the 2002 Treasurer’s race with more than 66% of the vote. In the most recent race (2006) he received 70.5% of the vote. So why bring all this up? Ha-ha, you have a mind like a trap! Well, near the top of his list of accomplishments on the site is–you […]