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Not yet a Declaration of Independence but Getting There

In an op-ed in the Saturday Globe, Father Monan and Michael Keating deliver some very good news on the Trial Court. In March 2002 Pioneer released A Declaration of Independence, a detailed and highly critical report on the mismatch of resources to court caseload. On the heels of the Pioneer report, Chief Justice Marshall established the Visiting Committee on Management in the Courts and invited Father Monan, Chancellor of Boston College, to chair the committee. The Monan Commission “issued an harsh assessment of court operations” a year after the Pioneer report and developed numerous recommendations. Two points of good news from the Mass Trial Court that deserve special highlight: The Trial Court has adopted the National Center for State Courts’ […]

Shameless Plug

Actually, this is more a vain attempt to bring attention to a new Pioneer website feature, what we call Mass Media, a daily compilation of articles from newspapers across the Commonwealth. In the wake of today’s Boston Globe headline, I’d like to offer a quick thought on casino gambling. I should disclose at the outset that Pioneer has not studied the issue and, therefore, has no institutional position on the prospect of legalized casino gambling in the Commonwealth. Neither have I, personally, staked out a position on the issue. I admit to a certain trepidation regarding it, but that does not mean the potential benefits to the state wouldn’t outweigh the costs. Besides, I don’t believe government’s role should include […]

Do we know how to pick ’em?

From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette: The Devens boom, an editorial extolling the recent announcement by Evergreen Solar they are building a $165 million dollar facility on the former army base. One of the deciding factors appears to have been (fanfare, please) “a streamlined permitting process.” Not to toot our horn, but we anticipated this. The Unified Permitting System for the Redevelopment of Fort Devens was, in fact, the winner of this year’s Better Government Competition. Apparently, foresight is 20/20.

So long, Mrs. Whatsit

I apologize. I have been absent from the blogosphere for over a week now. I’m back, though, and because, with the release of preliminary MCAS scores, those dreaded buzz words – standards and accountability – have been all over the press, I want to weigh in on them. Before I do, however, I would like to point out that the generally good news about the preliminary MCAS scores coincided this week with a bit of bad news – the passing of author Madeleine L’Engle, who is probably best known for her adolescent classic A Wrinkle in Time. Her death was brought to my attention by Jeff Jacoby’s column in Wednesday’s Globe. Upon learning from Jeff that Ms. L’Engle had died, […]

WaPo on School Standards

The Washington Post on September 10 had this to say as Congress begins to deliberate on the fate of No Child Left Behind: Does this country want to make schools better — or just make schools look better? If Congress is true to the noble idea that all children, no matter their races, family incomes or circumstances, can learn to read and do math, it must reject suggestions that make a charade of standards and accountability. Can’t get much clearer than that. But how about giving real relief to parents who are stuck in failing schools? I believe (emphasis on “believe”, as in I have heard from reliable sources) that the number of students in the Worcester Public Schools whose […]