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Which way to a greater Boston region?

The indispensable Amy Dain reports from the provinces: Today the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) released its recommendations for the future growth of the region. Its goals for increased housing choice are right on. Implementation will be no easy task, though. A recent report from Pioneer and Rappaport Institutes has shown that the current system of housing regulation does not allow for many needed types of housing to be built. To learn more about your community’s regulations, look here. The MAPC plan calls for new apartments, townhouses, and condos near town centers, as well as more modest single-family houses for people who either cannot afford or do not need McMansions. The plan estimates that over half of the new moderately […]

Strategic Planning? We don’t need no stinkin’ planning.

Our friend and Pioneer Board Member, Professor Joe Giglio has a new book on transportation — Driving Questions: Developing A National Transportation Vision, following up on his December 2005 release, Mobility. Professor Giglio’s new book seeks to rise above the hurly-burly of the transportation debate (which he, quite correctly we might add, views as overly focused on tactical matters) and restart the conversation on a strategic level. He begins by asking the following four questions: · What should the nation’s transportation system look like in the future? · What options do we have for transforming the existing system to match this vision? · What resources are available to implement these options? · How do we measure our success in making […]

BGC – a forum for ideas

Pioneer has already received a great deal of interest in its upcoming Better Government Competition awards dinner. Since announcing just Friday that Governor Patrick would be the featured speaker and that Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson had been invited and tentatively accepted an invitation to offer prefatory remarks, I have received quite a number of phone calls and e-mails. The majority have been requests for tickets (which have not yet gone on sale), but some have been – well, let’s just say the word traitor came up more than once. In light of this constructive feedback, I thought it worth reminding people that Pioneer Institute is a non-partisan think tank. We are uninterested in the success or failure of any […]

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 […]