In a two week period before this cartoon appeared, three houses (two in Massachusetts, one in Rhode Island) were blown up due to ruptured gas lines. The first one, in Boxford, Mass., was blown up by its owner, a surgeon who had rented a backhoe to do some landscaping. When this person first smelled the gas, he got his mother out of the house and then called the gas company. A gas company representative quoted him as saying over the phone, "I need the gas shut off now... Oh forget it, we just lost the house."

The fellows trying to blow up public education are Department of Education Chairman James Peyser and Speaker of the House Thomas Finneran. MCAS is the unpopular and ill-designed set of standardized tests which are being administered to Massachusetts 4th, 8th, and 10th graders as I write this. Education reactionaries like Peyser look to the MCAS to help them discredit Masssachusetts public schools, while Speaker Finneran and his allies push vouchers and charter schools as the coups de grace that will divert resources from the public education system.

For more on MCAS see my March 18, 2000, December 27, 1999, June 12, 1999, and January 24, 1999 cartoons. For more on Finneran see April 29, 2000 and October 30, 1999. For more on Peyser see March 7, 1999.

If you're wondering why three weeks passed between this and my previous cartoon, it's because the cartoon I did for the May 13 Globe was overtaken by history. I did a drawing about a lengthy strike against mandatory double shifts by Worcester nurses but the strike was settled on May 12 (I can't complain because the nurses won). Here it is, anyway:

View the April 29, 2000 cartoon.

View other Globe cartoons.

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