Gants launches study of racial disparities in incarceration

Chief justice also "encouraged" by progress on wider criminal justice policy review

THE STATE MUST confront racial disparities in imprisonment rates and move to “reimagine” a flawed criminal justice system to focus less on incarceration and more on lowering recidivism, Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph Gants said on Thursday. Delivering his third annual address on the state of the judiciary since becoming the Commonwealth’s top judge,

The charter funding debate

Lots of the conflict is over short-term vs. long-term picture

IN THE HIGH-STAKES battle over charter school expansion, the impact of charters on school finances has come front and center. Supporters of Question 2, which would allow up to 12 new charter schools or expansion of 12 existing schools per year, argue that the funding formula for charter schools holds districts harmless when students move

Advocates push T to restore late-night service

Supporters say there’s demand and need for 'transportation equity'

MBTA OFFICIALS CONTINUED to take a slow approach to rebooting late-night bus service over concerns about cost despite a detailed plan from advocates and pleas from state and local officials that such a service is a matter of equity for low-income earners rather than a convenience for millennial barhoppers. State Rep. Adrian Madaro of East

The Codcast: Open court?

CommonWealth Magazine

The Massachusetts Trial Court this week issued its new rules and regulations regarding public access to court records and it’s fair to say officials erred on the side of less rather than more. The rules, which were more than two years in the making, were issued in conjunction with the updated court website that is

CommonWealth’s Summer 2016 issue is out!

Is Harvard University building the next Kendall Square in Allston? That’s the question on the cover of CommonWealth’s summer issue, which is in the mail to subscribers and available online now. The Allston real estate venture is a big bet by Harvard that could have enormous potential for the city of Boston and the state, but

The ‘third way’ in education

Education leaders seek to bridge the charter-district divide

POLARIZATION AND TRENCH WARFARE, the partisan watchwords these days in Washington, have also come to define education debates. In Massachusetts, as much as $30 million could be spent between now and November in what promises to be a bloody showdown between charter school advocates and opponents over a ballot question to raise the charter school

Double-whammy for Gateway Cities

Municipalities are caught in vicious real estate cycle

CLARK UNIVERSITY IN WORCESTER this week unveiled a series of new data profiles suggesting Gateway Cities  are being hit with a real estate double-whammy: housing prices that are relatively low and rents that are relatively high. That combination is trouble because it means developers have little incentive to build new housing units in Gateway Cities

CommonWealth’s Spring 2016 issue is out!

The Spring 2016 print issue is in the mail, but if you can’t wait (and who can?) here’s a rundown of what’s in it. On the feature front, we have two interesting stories about the Legislature. One focuses on the paradox of Speaker Robert DeLeo, a seemingly affable, easy-going everyman who nevertheless maintains a vise-like

Not the usual faces in state Senate race

A changing East Boston draws new blood to special election

FOR DECADES, AN East Boston resident has held the state Senate seat representing the First Suffolk and Middlesex District, which extends north from the neighborhood to Revere and reaches west to sections of Cambridge. Michael LoPresti in the 1970s and 80s. Robert Travaglini in the 1990s and early 2000s. Anthony Petruccelli from 2007 until he

Warren hails civil rights legacy of education law

Says it’s crucial that Every Student Succeeds Act maintain the federal commitment to vulnerable children

WHILE IT’S EASY to get caught up in the details and debates over mandated testing regimens and teacher evaluation policies,the federal education law that stirred such backlash for more than a decade until it was replaced last year is one of the legislative pillars of the civil rights gains of the 1960s. Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

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