On Thursday last week, I drove to Boston and then spent the night. On Thursday, PHENOM held a rally at the statehouse to kick off this year's push to get the state to fix and fund higher education and to make it more affordable. Massachusetts has done a very poor job of supporting public higher education over the past 20 years: the buildings are falling apart, funding has declined in both absolute and real terms, and fees have increased something like 300%. The main needs-based financial aid program, Massgrant, used to cover 80% of a student's tuition and fees -- now its something like 15%. Ellen Story spoke briefly and encouraged students to stay active in politics.
Afterwards, I headed for the Hynes Convention Center to register for AAAS and then hooked up with Jim Lieberman and Jos