Mitt Romney's higher education record
Thursday, July 19, 2012
doesn’t want to talk taxes
. He doesn’t want to talk much about his tenure as governor either. Perhaps that’s because, with his signature health care achievement off the table, Romney is left with a fair-to-middling record to exploit and more eyebrow-raising episodes to back away from.
The major defect of that strategy is that there’s a country full of journalists tripping over themselves to peel back the onion on his four years in the Corner Office.
Start with higher education. The Associated Press scrutinized Romney’s record
and concluded that his efforts to reform the sector “fell short.” Romney planned an ambitious overhaul of the University of Massachusetts
, state college, and community college systems. The centerpiece of the proposal would have pulled out the flagship campus at Amherst to operate as a distinct entity. The rest of the system would have been regionalized.
Some of the ideas had merit, but Romney made a strategic blunder by failing to clue in Amherst officials
or other higher education leaders about these revolutionary ideas. Then the plan proceeded to implode as Romney squared off against William Bulger
, the UMass president, over his fugitive gangster brother Whitey.
Romney succeeded in forcing Bulger to step down from the UMass post, but not before Bulger slammed
the Bain-conceived plan as a “corporate takeover.”
During his recent NAACP address, Romney touted his John and Abigail Adams Scholarship program,
which provides free tuition at state schools for top-achieving high school graduates. He neglected to mention that the scholarship offers no relief from the astronomically high fees that bulk up the cost to attend.
“Education is an investment that our generation makes in the future,” Romney has said. Like most other politicians, he hasn’t offered up a plan on how to bring down the prohibitive cost of a college investment, especially after taking fire for proposing that banks be allowed back into the federal student loan sector
. --GABRIELLE GURLEY BEACON HILLA crime bill passes easily
in House, but not everyone is happy
with it. The Herald
, in an editorial,
says it is mostly happy.
Gov. Deval Patrick
talks with Emily Rooney
about his uneasy relationship with the Legislature
and the swirling rumor mill about his heading to Washington. With his second book, he also raises concern about the American Dream, Broadside reports.
In an editorial, the Globe argues
that the state Gambling Commission
should set a deadline for the Mashpee Wampanoags
to get federal approval to turn their casino site into sovereign Indian land, a designation not possible for the tribe under current federal law.The Berkshire Eagle argues
that the probation scandal
may be a “potential culture-changer” on Beacon Hill.MUNICIPAL MATTERS
to grant Superfund status to a shuttered Attleboro
chrome plant. Boston
officials unveil design plans
for the Ferdinand redevelopment project in Dudley Square.NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON Congress
barrels toward the edge of a cliff, the Daily Beast reports.New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
reportedly will give the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, Governing reports
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
talks about the Bush v. Gore
case and denies any feud with Justice John Roberts
in an interview
with Piers Morgan
.Michele Bachmann goes hunting
on the internet for domestic Muslim enemies, earning a sharp rebuke from John McCain
The Postal Service will default
on a $5.5 billion retiree benefit payment in August without Congressional action. ELECTION 2012
The conservative punditocracy is still debating whether Mitt Romney
is Bruce Wayne or the evil villain Bane
in the new Batman
movie, The Dark Knight Rises.Karl Rove lectures
campaign about negative campaigning.
Do candidates even know who the middle class is?BUSINESS/ECONOMYWidespread drought
across America threatens crops, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book”
says New England’s economy is in better shape than most regions but employers are still cautious about hiring
as they keep their eyes on their bottom line.
As summer jobs for teenagers are becoming scarce, parents are stepping in and hiring their kids, the Globe reports
Young workers are driving a trend that is bringing companies back into the city, rather than in suburban office parks, the Globe reports
Massachusetts foreclosure activity ebbed
in June. EDUCATION
The Lowell School Committee
questions spending nearly $369,000 to send a student to the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, the Sun reports.
Faculty and students at Bunker Hill Community College
are questioning the high fees paid to celebrity speakers
while supplies and other basic needs go wanting.
, in an editorial,
applauds the contract for a new school superintendent in Dracut
that requires the superintendent to pay a $15,000 fee if he exits before the the three-year term is completed.
A nonprofit agrees to buy a closed elementary school in Gloucester,
the Gloucester Times reports.Yvonne Abraham argues
that the controversy over Boston Superintendent Carol Johnson
’s support of a headmaster charged with domestic assault shouldn’t be framed by race. HEALTH CARE
Health care changes affecting public workers in Billerica
are expected to save $1.5 million, the Sun reports.
Community hospital leaders
worry about the scope and the speed of legislative health cost containment reforms
NPR (via WBUR) reports
on “the Berlin patient,”
who many consider the best hope for a cure to AIDS.
Some small businesses will be able to purchase health care coverage
from Blue Cross Blue Shield
through a cooperative set up by the Massachusetts Retailers Association
, giving the businesses more power and savings than buying insurance on their own.CHARITIES
The Marine Museum
in Fall River took major steps to regain its charter and nonprofit status by filing six years worth of delinquent IRS 990 forms
, but city officials and former directors are still concerned about management and operation of the museum.TRANSPORTATION A number of impact studies for the South Coast Rail project
have been completed but the Army Corp of Engineers
continue to work with local Native American tribes on a mandated archaeological and resource review along the entire stretch of the proposed project.
T officials seek a waiver of an environmental review for a commuter rail parking garage in Salem
, the Salem News reports.ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT
Yesterday’s severe storms triggered several house fires south of Boston
as well as disrupted commuter rail service
on the Greenbush
and Old Colony
lines. The North Shore, particularly Lynn,
was battered, the Item reports.Footprint LLC
solidifies a deal to buy the closing coal power plant in Salem from Dominion Energy Inc., the Salem News reports.NStar
is clearing trees
under some of its power lines in an attempt to prevent power outages caused by vegetation, but many residents are furious about the policy.
gets $1.9 million from the Knight Foundation, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports.