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An even happier Fourth

… and perhaps an unhappy fifth. The deed is done. I made it through the Arnold Mills four-miler far faster than I had thought, executed with aplomb and a fine Pioneer-esque strategy. I gave due consideration to the Greek psychology (mine), which is based primarily on avoidance of shame. I thought of what was achievable and paced myself. To be specific, I made my way to a place within eyeshot of a teenager, who I had overheard telling her dad how she was training but just couldn’t take it seriously. Music to my ears. I stayed throughout the race within eyeshot and came away right smack in the middle of the 500-plus runner race. I feel good, red-faced and ready […]

Jim on WGBH – Housing

At 7 p.m. sharp (in three minutes), with David Wluka of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors and a developer who is seeking to use the market to produce housing for folks in the 65 to 80 % of median income range. Discussion covers: the continued impact of regulations that restrict supply; the arguments made by municipalities (impact on property values and, ugh, we cannot afford the schools costs that come with kids!); and how cities can address these issues (long-term contracts with municipal employees, pension reform, and insuring employees through the Group Insurance Commission). Munis, if you have problems, come to Pioneer.  We have the solutions.  Just look at what Springfield’s been able to accomplish.   5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Give me a break – and a Happy Fourth

Over the weekend, someone was on the T griping about how people have started to say “Happy Fourth!” in that bright-eyed, bushy-tailed American way. I am sure my fellow rider was impressing her Eastern European-sounding interlocutor. Perhaps it is better to say “Enjoy the time off,” “I hope you enjoy the 4th with your family,” or something similar. But give me a break: Why not “Happy Fourth”? We are constitutionally constructed around the ideal of the pursuit of happiness as defined by citizens, so I think it is absolutely great to have a happy 4th, and I intend on doing just that — back in li’l old Cumberland, RI. Happiness on the Fourth in Cumberland means: A 4-mile footrace in […]

Revenge of the status quotists

In his letter to the editor (“Ed board shuffle: a lesson in irony,” July 2, 2007), Dan French trots out a number of myths long perpetuated by supporters of the status quo in education. He contends that Governor Weld packed the Board of Education, overlooking the fact that changes on the board had strong support from a Democratic Legislature alarmed at what was then the slow pace of education reform. Weld appointed John Silber as the chairman of the Board, who, notwithstanding the views some may have of him, was the largest vote-getter among recent Democratic gubernatorial candidates until Governor Patrick’s election last year. He contends that five of the nine members had ties to Pioneer or other free-market think […]

Progress after Education Reform

So the “revisionistas” (a.k.a. status quotists, special interests, etc.) are trotting out the view that Massachusetts’ school system was always the best in the country, even before the Ed Reform Act of 1993 (and before standardized testing, accountability and innovation through charters). As my 6th grade American Civics teacher used to say in his baritone drawl: That’s mullarky! See my previous post on the NAEP scores. How about Massachusetts’ performance on the SATs? As former Senate President Tom Birmingham, one of the architects of Ed Reform, noted at a November 06 Pioneer event entitled “Has Education Reform Stalled?” If you had told Weld or Roosevelt or me on that hot day in June 1993 that more than 90 percent of […]