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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Commonwealth Compact: Using Research To Promote Diversity, Robert Turner Feb 2016

Commonwealth Compact: Using Research To Promote Diversity, Robert Turner

New England Journal of Public Policy

Commonwealth Compact is a statewide initiative of the University of Massachusetts Boston launched in 2008 with a primary focus of promoting diversity—especially racial and ethnic diversity—in the workplace. In addition to conducting workshops, sponsoring forums, and creating job placement tools, Commonwealth Compact has conducted research, which is the central focus of this article.

Three rounds of Benchmarks reports, using data from 2007, 2008, and 2011, showed that the reporting Massachusetts employers generally weathered the recession fairly well but that efforts to improve racial diversity lagged far behind those for gender diversity.

Data from two national surveys, produced for ...


Children And Homelessness In Massachusetts, Donna Haig Friedman, Katherine Calano, Marija Bingulac, Christine Miller, Alisa Zeliger Sep 2013

Children And Homelessness In Massachusetts, Donna Haig Friedman, Katherine Calano, Marija Bingulac, Christine Miller, Alisa Zeliger

New England Journal of Public Policy

In Massachusetts, more than half a million children (15% of all children) live in poverty, 30% of all children live with parents who lack secure employment, and 41% live in households with high housing cost burdens. This article examines the root causes of poverty and its links to child homelessness in the state. Though the state has a long-standing progressive political legacy, the well-being of low-income families with children continues to decline. The article offers evidence about the extent of child homelessness and its profound effects on Massachusetts children and youth. The interconnectedness of what are usually thought of as ...


Introduction: Communicating Research To Policy Makers—Briefing Report Chapters From The Massachusetts Family Impact Seminars On Youth At Risk, Denise Hines, Karen Bogenschneider Sep 2013

Introduction: Communicating Research To Policy Makers—Briefing Report Chapters From The Massachusetts Family Impact Seminars On Youth At Risk, Denise Hines, Karen Bogenschneider

New England Journal of Public Policy

Research and policy should go hand-in-hand. With few exceptions, however, the history of research utilization in policy making has been disappointing. Policy makers typically do not have the resources to seek out the growing body of research on the complex issues they face. Instead, they tend to rely on personal impressions or information from special interests that is often fragmented and biased. This practice occurs despite growing evidence that public policy would be more effective if it were based on hard evidence and dispassionate analysis.

How can we better connect researchers and policy makers? One proven, cost-effective, and replicable model ...


Transracial Foster Care And Adoption: Issues And Realities, Fern L. Johnson, Stacie Mickelson, Mariana Lopez Davila Sep 2013

Transracial Foster Care And Adoption: Issues And Realities, Fern L. Johnson, Stacie Mickelson, Mariana Lopez Davila

New England Journal of Public Policy

The article places transracial foster care and adoption into a broader perspective that highlights social and cultural factors and the reasons for controversy about this adoption option. The first section describes the demographics of children in the foster care system. This is followed by an overview of requirements for approval as foster and adoptive parents in Massachusetts and information about the laws governing transracial adoption. The controversy over transracial adoption is laid out by explaining the race-blind and race-matching positions. Policy priorities are outlined that take into account the main points of controversy. The final section focuses on growth in ...


Food Insecurity Among Children In Massachusetts, Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba, Deborah A. Frank, Maya Pilgrim, Maria Buitrago, Anna Voremberg, Harris Rollinger, Denise A. Hines Sep 2013

Food Insecurity Among Children In Massachusetts, Stephanie Ettinger De Cuba, Deborah A. Frank, Maya Pilgrim, Maria Buitrago, Anna Voremberg, Harris Rollinger, Denise A. Hines

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article focuses on the prevalence among Massachusetts children and families of food insecurity, inadequate access to enough nutritious food for an active and healthy life. It summarizes research findings on the association of food insecurity with less optimal children’s health and development from the prenatal period through adolescence. Food insecurity also correlates with other material hardships, such as housing and energy insecurity. Data show families’ participation in public nutrition and other assistance program is associated with decreased prevalence of food insecurity and with mitigation of its impact on children’s health and well-being. The article concludes with recommendations ...


Grinding Decline In Springfield: Is The Finance Control Board The Answer?, Robert Forrant Mar 2013

Grinding Decline In Springfield: Is The Finance Control Board The Answer?, Robert Forrant

New England Journal of Public Policy

Springfield, Massachusetts, the Bay State’s third largest city, suffered staggering manufacturing job loss over the last thirty years of the twentieth century. In 2004, the financial impact of job loss, coupled with dubious fiscal management, plunged the city into near bankruptcy. In response, state government passed legislation appointing a Finance Control Board to manage city business. Wage freezes for City workers were continued and cuts in numerous essential services occurred to deal with the debt. But the question remains, can a Control Board approach grow a large stock of well-paying jobs — large enough to grow the city’s and ...


We've Got The Power: Rise Of Women Entrepreneurs, Phyllis Swersky, Aileen Gorman, Jessica Reardon Mar 2007

We've Got The Power: Rise Of Women Entrepreneurs, Phyllis Swersky, Aileen Gorman, Jessica Reardon

New England Journal of Public Policy

The authors address women’s recent entrepreneurial successes in local, national, and international settings, offering, as a case study, one nonprofit organization whose mission is to support women entrepreneurs and help them grow: The Commonwealth Institute. In examining The Commonwealth Institute, the authors provide insight into the challenges facing some of the women entrepreneurs they work with in Massachusetts. They also offer some strategies to make sure women continue to make a significant contribution to New England’s economy.


Thwarted Ambition: The Role Of Public Policy In University Development, Michael N. Bastedo Mar 2005

Thwarted Ambition: The Role Of Public Policy In University Development, Michael N. Bastedo

New England Journal of Public Policy

Paradoxically, Massachusetts is the home of a world-class system of private higher education and a struggling system of public higher education. The influence of private higher education and persistent indifference by state government repeatedly thwarted UMass’s ambition to increase its stature on the national scene. The result was a “boom or bust” cycle of financial support that made rational planning and institutional expansion extremely difficult, exacerbating the university’s late start toward world-class status.


Grinding Decline In Springfield: Is The Finance Control Board The Answer?, Robert Forrant Mar 2005

Grinding Decline In Springfield: Is The Finance Control Board The Answer?, Robert Forrant

New England Journal of Public Policy

Springfield, Massachusetts, the Bay State’s third largest city, suffered staggering manufacturing job loss over the last thirty years of the twentieth century. In 2004, the financial impact of job loss, coupled with dubious fiscal management, plunged the city into near bankruptcy. In response, state government passed legislation appointing a Finance Control Board to manage city business. Wage freezes for City workers were continued and cuts in numerous essential services occurred to deal with the debt. But the question remains, can a Control Board approach grow a large stock of well-paying jobs — large enough to grow the city’s and ...


Challenges To Multiculturalism, Jorge Capetillo-Ponce Sep 2004

Challenges To Multiculturalism, Jorge Capetillo-Ponce

New England Journal of Public Policy

An anti-bilingual education referendum was offered to citizens of Massachusetts in November of 2002. The referendum read, in part, “The current state law providing for transitional bilingual education in public schools will be replaced with a law requiring that, with limited exceptions, all public school children must be taught English by being taught all subjects in English and being placed in English language classrooms.” The University of Massachusetts Gaston Institute analyzed the results of that referendum, here reported on by Jorge Capetillo-Ponce.


When Half The Neighborhood Is Missing, Gus Newport Sep 2004

When Half The Neighborhood Is Missing, Gus Newport

New England Journal of Public Policy

Local nonprofits too often compete with each other for power, turf, and funds. The author, formerly director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, advocates for a collaborative process that engages the local community in defining and executing new initiatives. Governance for the good of the people must rely on sound research, sound principles and values, and the understanding and support of the community.


Community Action In Massachusetts, Jim Canavan Sep 2004

Community Action In Massachusetts, Jim Canavan

New England Journal of Public Policy

Evaluates the contribution of community action agencies (CCA) in alleviating poverty in Massachusetts from its creation during the term of former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson until 2004. Description of the programs to the poor offered by CCAs; Operation of CCAs across the state; Affordable housing offered by the CCAs.


Child Care: Four Decades Of Growth And Change, Bruce Hershfield, John Sciamanna Sep 2004

Child Care: Four Decades Of Growth And Change, Bruce Hershfield, John Sciamanna

New England Journal of Public Policy

Child care has grown and changed over the past four decades. The federal government now has two major early education programs, Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Although Head Start was enacted in 1965 and has had mostly bipartisan support, it took the federal government until 1990 to enact a national child care program. Massachusetts, led by an active advocacy community and strong leadership in the state legislature, has been a leader among states in support for child care funding and policies. It is its support for strong licensing, periodic increases in reimbursement rates, parental choice ...


When They Need Help The Most: Public Services For Immigrants, Miren Uriarte, Phillip Granberry Sep 2004

When They Need Help The Most: Public Services For Immigrants, Miren Uriarte, Phillip Granberry

New England Journal of Public Policy

Ending unauthorized immigration is at the heart of current federal initiatives in both immigration and social policy. The intertwining of these two areas of policy is nowhere clearer than in the 1996 passage of both the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), better known as Welfare Reform, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). Immigration status became a key point of differentiation in access to public benefits as cutbacks were instituted with the stated goal of curtailing undocumented immigration. The denial of public benefits to limit unauthorized immigration has a disproportionate impact on those groups ...


Masscap And The Caa Role In Advocating For Change, Joseph Diamond Sep 2004

Masscap And The Caa Role In Advocating For Change, Joseph Diamond

New England Journal of Public Policy

Cites the efforts of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action Inc. and community action agencies (CCA) to alleviate poverty in the state. Programs offered by CCAs that aim to improve the quality of life of low income people; Efforts of the organization to call for changes in federal and state policies directed to the poor; Details of several initiatives assisted by the organization; Support for the adoption of the Massachusetts Self-Sufficiency Standard.


Border Crossings: The Impact Of Migration On The New Hampshire House Of Representatives, Michael E. Dupre, Dante Scala Mar 2003

Border Crossings: The Impact Of Migration On The New Hampshire House Of Representatives, Michael E. Dupre, Dante Scala

New England Journal of Public Policy

This paper studies the political effects of population migration to New Hampshire. Data suggest that, although migration from Massachusetts caused significant “suburbanization” effects in New Hampshire over the last four decades, demographic changes have not yielded commensurate changes in voting behavior, or party registration in the state. But the New Hampshire House of Representatives reveals more impact from the dramatic population increase. Population migration has led to suburbanization of the composition of the 400-member lower chamber. Citizen-legislators native-born to New Hampshire now compose just slightly over a third of the House, a proportion far lower than that in other New ...


School District Performance Under The Mcas, Jie Chen, Thomas Ferguson Mar 2002

School District Performance Under The Mcas, Jie Chen, Thomas Ferguson

New England Journal of Public Policy

Education reform has spawned efforts to test learning across the nation. This paper analyzes the determinants of Massachusetts’ school district test scores under the state’s high stakes testing program, MCAS. The study is the first to demonstrate direct links between improvements in MCAS scores and state aid to school districts. The authors estimate “value added” for each school district in the state. The list of schools with high value added produces real surprises — while some affluent districts do well, others rank at the very bottom. Additionally, the study analyzes how teacher maximum salaries, district superintendent salaries, per capita income ...


Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley Sep 2001

Editor's Note, Padraig O'Malley

New England Journal of Public Policy

The author briefly talks about Congressman John Joseph Moakley's impact on his life and the state of Massachusetts.


Irish Identity Politics: The Reinvention Of Speaker John W. Mccormack Of Boston, Garrison Nelson Sep 1999

Irish Identity Politics: The Reinvention Of Speaker John W. Mccormack Of Boston, Garrison Nelson

New England Journal of Public Policy

From his election in 1940 as Majority Leader to his last day as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1971, John W. McCormack of Boston occupied the highest rungs of leadership in the Congress. Many biographies and autobiographies cover the lives and public careers of five Speakers, but not one has been devoted to McCormack — not because he was unimportant and irrelevant. He was a very private man who could rearrange the facts of his life to suit his political needs. The story had great resonance in Boston because its Irish gatekeepers — James Michael Curley, John F ...


The Sargent Governorship: Leader And Legacy, Richard A. Hogarty Sep 1999

The Sargent Governorship: Leader And Legacy, Richard A. Hogarty

New England Journal of Public Policy

Following in the long line of succession of his predecessors, Francis W. Sargent served as the sixty-third governor of Massachusetts. A lifelong Republican, he was a man of character and sterling Yankee blue-blood lineage with the stature of a political independent. Grappling with a series of hot political issues and braving the passions and divisions spawned by the war in Vietnam, he was one of the ablest and most intriguing men ever to be governor. He worked hard at knowing his constituents and their concerns, but he did not always provide them with easy answers. Several new ideas were transformed ...


The Repeal Of Rent Control In Cambridge, Robert P. Moncreiff Sep 1996

The Repeal Of Rent Control In Cambridge, Robert P. Moncreiff

New England Journal of Public Policy

In the November 8, 1994, state election, Massachusetts voters approved a question placed on the ballot by initiative petition passing a law that effectively outlawed rent control throughout the commonwealth. This law had its most dramatic effect in Cambridge, where a stringent rent control system had been in effect since 1970. The success of the petition was realized primarily through the grassroots efforts of a coalition of small-property owners in Cambridge who felt aggrieved by the city's rent control system. The use of a statewide vote on an initiative petition to enact a law with predominantly local effect created ...


Social Networks And Employment For Latinos, Blacks, And Whites, Luis M. Falcón Mar 1995

Social Networks And Employment For Latinos, Blacks, And Whites, Luis M. Falcón

New England Journal of Public Policy

Despite the immigrant character of Latino groups in the United States, little attention has been given to the role of social networks in the job-search process and in labor market outcomes for Latinos. The literature on social networks describes their use as important in providing access to jobs but neutral as to affecting earnings or attainment of prestige. This study uses data from a 1988-1989 Boston survey to examine the effect of finding employment through social networks on the income attainment of white, black, and Latino workers. Job seekers in all groups rely on such networks, but Latinos exhibit the ...


Industrial Change, Immigration, And Community Development: An Overview Of Europeans And Latinos, Ramón F. Borges-Méndez Mar 1995

Industrial Change, Immigration, And Community Development: An Overview Of Europeans And Latinos, Ramón F. Borges-Méndez

New England Journal of Public Policy

The industrial forces and conditions of Massachusetts that awaited and attracted European immigrants were vastly different from those encountered by the more recent wave of Latino immigrants. This study seeks to compare and clarify what those forces and conditions were at three different times, especially in the small mill towns of Lowell, Lawrence, and Holyoke. The objective is to delineate a historical backdrop to allow an understanding of the present situation of Latinos in those cities and, to some extent, within the commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Latinos And Labor: Challenges And Opportunities, Andrés Torres Mar 1995

Latinos And Labor: Challenges And Opportunities, Andrés Torres

New England Journal of Public Policy

The growing presence of Latino workers in the Massachusetts labor force presents opportunities as well as challenges for the labor movement. An overview of occupational, industrial, and unionization patterns helps to describe the potential for Hispanic contribution to renewed union strength in the region. But revitalizing the house of labor in the twenty-first century requires an innovative interplay of workplace and community strategies. As labor comes to terms with its multiracial/multicultural constituency, the relationship between class and race/ethnicity is being revisited, as is the very definition of "labor movement."


Latina Women And Political Leadership: Implications For Latino Community Empowerment, Carol Hardy-Fanta Mar 1995

Latina Women And Political Leadership: Implications For Latino Community Empowerment, Carol Hardy-Fanta

New England Journal of Public Policy

Mainstream studies of Latino politics have tended to reflect a primarily male view of political participation and political leadership. In such a view, the study of Latino political leadership continues the tradition of viewing leadership as derived from official positions in elected or appointed office and informal organizations. This article demonstrates that (1) contrary to prevailing myths, Latina women in Massachusetts run for and are elected to office in very high numbers, and (2) when the definition of political leadership is expanded to include community-based, not solely position-derived, forms of leadership, Latino community empowerment may depend, to a great extent ...


Economic Growth Issues In Massachusetts Rural Areas And Small Cities, Nancy Goff Sep 1994

Economic Growth Issues In Massachusetts Rural Areas And Small Cities, Nancy Goff

New England Journal of Public Policy

In developing a strategy for economic development, state government must consider the special needs of its small cities and rural areas. Well-meaning policies crafted for metropolitan areas have unintended and often negative consequences when applied statewide. This article is a revision of the author's topical discussion paper for the August 6, 1992, Conference on Rural and Small City Development at Mount Wachusett Community College, Gardner. It was used by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Economic Affairs and the University of Massachusetts in developing a statewide economic development strategy.


The Economy And The Regulatory Environment: In Search Of A New Paradigm, Zenia Kotval, John Mullin Sep 1994

The Economy And The Regulatory Environment: In Search Of A New Paradigm, Zenia Kotval, John Mullin

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article focuses on the economy and the regulatory environment. The economic downturn over the past six years has taken its toll on Massachusetts. At the same time, there is immense pressure on the part of the electorate to ensure that our quality of life is protected and enhanced. It is clear that the business community, citizens, and our elected officials are searching for a new paradigm. The concept of a policy of sustainable development is emerging —political and corporate actions that produce well-paying jobs, that create a competitive business climate and improve life within the context of our existing ...


Access To Capital And Technical Assistance, Richard J. Ward Sep 1994

Access To Capital And Technical Assistance, Richard J. Ward

New England Journal of Public Policy

This article summarizes and analyzes the views of select leaders in business, labor, banking, the government, and academia with regard to the constraints, obstacles, and recommendations to achieve economic growth in Massachusetts. The role of the state government in addressing these issues receives special attention. Access to capital and technical assistance had been regarded by many as the key constraint, particularly during the recession of the early 1990s. The author analyzes inconvenient government systems, bottlenecks, and bureaucracy as throttling the flow of capital to small-business entrepreneurs. The analysis concludes, however, that unless the state cum federal government finds ways to ...


The School Improvement Industry: A Case Study Of Framingham, Abigail Jurist Levy Jun 1994

The School Improvement Industry: A Case Study Of Framingham, Abigail Jurist Levy

New England Journal of Public Policy

This study looked at school improvement in the Framingham public schools from three perspectives. We were interested in finding out if the administration and school committee, local businesses with an interest in education, and agencies that provide training and technical assistance to schools have similar ideas regarding how the Framingham schools should improve. We conducted interviews with administrators and members of the school committee, local businesses and businesses involved in school/business partnerships, and six agencies that provide training and technical support to schools in the Greater Boston area. We found that although all groups shared many interests, the businesses ...


Naep State Reports In Mathematics: Valuable Information For Monitoring Education Reform, Ronald K. Hambleton, Sharon F. Cadman Jun 1994

Naep State Reports In Mathematics: Valuable Information For Monitoring Education Reform, Ronald K. Hambleton, Sharon F. Cadman

New England Journal of Public Policy

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a congressionally mandated program, can provide valuable data to educational policymakers in Massachusetts and other New England states about the status of their educational reform initiatives and their performance standards. The three purposes of this article are to describe NAEP and its goals and structure, to present some of the results of the 1992 Mathematics NAEP Assessment as an example of the utility of this national assessment program, and to highlight ways in which background data collected by NAEP can be helpful in interpreting assessment results and monitoring educational reform. The six New ...