It’s the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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It's the Schools, Stupid! IV

The idea behind the “It’s the Schools, Stupid” series is straightforward. One of the problems faced by cities like Springfield in attracting the middle class is the perceived lack of quality of their public schools. Parents either formally (by examining standardized test data) or informally inquire regarding the quality of schools in communities in the

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Memento Mori

There are so many realities, paradigms, truths, and facts fighting for my consciousness and attempting to direct my actions that it is easy to be overcome by cognitive dissonance. Issues like climate change, fossil fuel depletion, government debt, personal debt, water shortages, de-industrialization, and the loss of topsoil to name just a few are clearly

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I Think That We Shall Never See…

Almost ten years ago I was asked to lead an organization which would spearhead a “public-private” partnership focused on maintaining and growing the urban forest in my home town. A recent article I found through the Planetizen website about Louisville, KY and how the death of its street trees has lead to the worst “heat

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No Good Deed-Update

In my “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished” post I pondered the questions of social welfare and economic prosperity. A recent report in CEO Magazine listed Massachusetts as one of the worst states for business. It’s interesting though that, once again, the Commonwealth seems to be outperforming national averages in economic growth and unemployment. While no

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You Must Be From Someplace Else

My daughter experienced the culture shock of going to a prestigious, mostly white, very affluent college after spending her whole life as the “rich” white girl in a poor minority urban school system. She loves to tell the story of the time when she and her sister (who also attends a mostly white college in

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Bully!

It occurred to me while reading in online comments to news stories the remorseless invective directed at Springfield, its political leaders, and its citizens, in this case as a consequence of the mayor’s decision to go with the MGM casino plan as the city’s candidate for state licensure, that all of that vituperation was really

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Cherry Picking

I was trying to be true to the ideals of RATIONAL urbanism last week while looking into the gun issue. Of all things it was a Facebook meme (Oh, Richard Dawkins, what thou hath wrought!) intended to be anti gun-control which forced me to dig a bit deeper into the issue. The posting in question

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“Something’s actually happening, Reg!”

Hope springs eternal of course, and when it comes to my hometown I tend to be an optimist despite a very concerted effort to remain dispassionate and rational. On this beautiful Spring morning it’s hard for me to not be optimistic about the future however. I’ve taken a walk around the block, hardly deviating from

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"Something's actually happening, Reg!"

Hope springs eternal of course, and when it comes to my hometown I tend to be an optimist despite a very concerted effort to remain dispassionate and rational. On this beautiful Spring morning it’s hard for me to not be optimistic about the future however. I’ve taken a walk around the block, hardly deviating from

Read More…