2016 Election Reading List


In 6 months Americans will go to the polls to vote for our next President as well as representatives, senators, and countless state and local officials.  I decided to put together a list of books on political and social topics that I find informative on various issues.  Of course, while I think these are important…

BPS Student Walkout


25 years ago the students, teachers, families, and alumni of my high school – a small Catholic school in Greenwich, CT – were informed that as of June 1991, the school would no longer exist. The decision was made by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport as a cost-cutting measure due to declining enrollment. In…

Walk-In and Rally for Boston Public Schools


Yesterday morning, I was one of hundreds of Bostonians who gathered together to rally against cuts at Boston Public Schools and deliver a message to Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker to support our public schools. The Walk-In and Rally was organized by the Boston Education Justice Alliance and coincided with a national movement to…

What is the Future for Public Schools in Boston?


Once again, Massachusetts public schools are ranked the the best in the nation. This may be surprising to many based on the constant political rhetoric that public schools in Massachusetts are a “disaster.”  One of the major issues is the great gap in achievement between low-income students and their more affluent peers.  For me and…

Improving Public Space at Boston City Hall Plaza


The City of Boston has recently put out a call for ideas to re-envision City Hall Plaza.  Boston City Hall is a controversial building, a mid-century modern example of Brutalism that some people call the ugliest building in Boston.  I’ve even heard it called the ugliest building in the world! There are some cool things…

Retropost: Let it Snow x 3


With another foot of snow falling on Boston today, I thought I’d dig up this old post from 2008 about winter songs.  Sometimes you need to sing to keep from crying.   You may not believe it, but I spend inordinate amounts of time surfing the web. One day idly paging through Wikipedia’s list of Number-one…

Massachusetts – Public School Kids Really Need Your Help!


MASSACHUSETTS Supporters of ‪Public Schools‬ URGENT HELP NEEDED! You do NOT need to have a child to do this! Lobbyists paid for by funding through the Walton (Walmart), Gates, Broad and other 1% backed Foundations are hard at work trying to gain more of your tax dollars by lifting the cap on charter schools in Massachusetts. If…

Massachusetts: Don’t Lift the Charter Cap


Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
From: Citizens for Public Schools in Massachusetts: Update: Senators to Vote Tomorrow on Charter Cap Bill! We’ve learned that House Bill 4108, which would, among other things, lift the cap on charter schools in so-called “underperforming districts” is scheduled to come up at a caucus of Democratic senators…

Remembering Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou died this week on May 28th.  You’ve certainly heard the news and read many tributes, but I wanted to add one more.  I think Angelou was one of the most significant Americans of the 20th century in all her influence as a poet, author, activist, spiritual leader, teacher and all the other things…

“Zombie” bill angers public school parents


Originally posted on Parent Imperfect:
The Parent Imperfect took the time this past Wednesday to write that no deal had been reached on the bill to lift the cap on charter schools in our state. Normally, the failure of a bill to get a positive recommendation from the relevant committee would be the kiss of…

A “Third Way” or the charter way?


Originally posted on Parent Imperfect:
The Parent Imperfect has a strong sense that the fix is in on lifting the cap on charter school growth in Massachusetts. I fear that the fix will leave public school districts with less resources to educate the vast majority of students in the state that will always attend traditional…

Worst Night of the Year Won’t Go Away


Believe it or not it’s been three years since I posted how much I hate Daylight Saving Time, and particularly the night in which we must “spring forward” the clock 1 hour.  I’m not looking forward to waking up tomorrow and dragging myself through the day. I’ve nothing new to write, but here are my…

Boston Olympics?


Originally posted on Panorama of the Mountains:
On Sunday night during the broadcast of the Closing Ceremonies from the 2012 Summer Olympics in Boston, a trend started on Twitter asking what an Olympics in Boston might be like.  Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub who started the trend Storified the many humorous responses.  My own contribution…

Remembering Pete Seeger


Pete Seeger died on Monday night.  He is perhaps my greatest hero as I’ve long been inspired by his music and activism.  His long life was a tireless effort to right wrongs and to bring people together in peace.  He leaves the world a better place than he found it.  And if you’re pessimistic about…

A Tour of Massachusetts’ Author-Illustrators


I recently had the epiphany that a great number of 20th-century author-illustrators (chiefly of children’s books) have Massachusetts connections.  Not only that, but many of them have some sort of landmark in the Commonwealth.  So here’s a tour of seven author-illustrators Eric Carle –  The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – Amherst, MA…

Dialect Map


The New York Times  recently published a quiz called “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” that purports to determine what part of the United States you are from based on your dialect. You’ve probably seen it on all the usual social networks. I had some interesting results, and some questions that were a bit tricky…

Happy Independence Day


On July 2, 1776 the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted for independence thus birthing a new nation, the United States of America.  As John Adams wrote, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by…


Originally posted on Millard Fillmore's Bathtub:
(Updating dead links, especially from the late and lamented (here at least) VodPod, I found myself back in 2008, with this post on Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.”  Fortunately, I found the film migrated to YouTube, though split in two parts.  Some information that should have caught our…