Charter schools’ early days in Massachusetts

Two players from 1993 ed reform reflect on charter history – and future

JUST HOURS BEFORE Gov. Charlie Baker joined with Hispanic leaders in East Boston on Tuesday afternoon to rally on behalf of his proposal to raise the cap on charter schools, two people who were there when charter schools were first authorized in the state 23 years ago shared some of that history – and considered

T oversight chief favors fare hike

Light turnout so far at public hearings

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MBTA’S OVERSIGHT BOARD said on Wednesday that he believes the underlying arguments for a fare increase remain valid. He made his comment after hearing a top agency official say the two fare hike proposals the T is considering are attracting a light turnout so far at public hearings. Brian Shortsleeve, the

CommonWealth’s Winter 2016 issue is out!

The cover story in CommonWealth’s Winter 2016 issue explores the popularity of Gov. Charlie Baker and chalks his early success up to a combination of an MBA’s focus on the issues and a surprisingly emotional touch in connecting with voters. Says one admirer: “I love this guy more than any lesbian should love a Republican.” The

MassINC Year in Review

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! 2015 has been an incredible year for the MassINC family which includes our Policy Center, CommonWealth magazine and the MassINC Polling Group. Please take a moment to look through the highlights of substantive research, civic events, and journalism from 2015 and consider making a year-end donation that will help

Social-emotional learning and the missing link in ed reform

First three years of life are crucial

UNDER THE UMBRELLA of “social-emotional learning” (SEL), there has been an explosion in knowledge about how children develop the kinds of skills that are crucial to academic and lifelong success. As defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), social-emotional learning includes five interrelated competencies: self-awareness, self-management (or self-regulation), social awareness, relationship

Riley’s turnaround effort bigger than schools

Lawrence groups and city in general pitch in to revamp education system

A FEW YEARS AGO, Lawrence’s schools were considered some of the worst in the state.  Only half of their students were finishing high school.  Test scores were abysmal.  Beyond the school walls, there was distress in the community: more than a quarter of the residents were living in poverty. The state appointed a receiver, Jeff

Rich-poor divide in high school sports

Data reveal inequality that threatens American Dream

EACH YEAR, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association compiles athletic participation data from public, charter, and parochial high schools across the state. In nine out of the past 10 years, the publicized narrative about the data has been the same: that athletic participation is increasing. But below the surface, the data reveal some alarming trends about

CommonWealth’s Fall 2015 issue is out!

CommonWealth’s Fall 2015 print issue is in the mail and available as a PDF and online. In addition to our regular lineup of stories, this issue goes deep on the opportunity gap that is preventing many young people from ever getting a shot at the American Dream. We interview Robert Putnam, the Bowling Alone author whose latest

Tough road ahead for Yancey

Precinct-level analysis indicates newcomer Campbell tough to beat

City Councilor Charles Yancey has represented Boston’s District 4 since the district was created in 1983. In every election since then — both preliminaries and finals — Yancey has taken the top spot at the polls. But all that changed in the September 8 preliminary election, when newcomer Andrea Campbell trounced Yancey, 58 percent to

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