Episode 157: The Kids Are Not Alright

32 minutes

11/19/20-- With just a couple months until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, several #MApoli members are being eyed as potential cabinet members of his administration.

Stephanie has been cataloging them for the Politico Massachusetts Playbook, and she's got her eye particularly trained on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who is being pushed for Labor Secretary by the president of the AFL-CIO. Other potential Massachusetts-based picks include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Gov. Charlie Baker, and Congressman Stephen Lynch.


A new survey out from The MassINC Polling Group finds parents of K-12 students in Massachusetts anticipate negative impacts on their children due to a tumultuous start of the school year.

One of the first questions Steve wanted the poll to answer was simply, how are students being taught? It turns out, there's an even split between all remote and hybrid learning (46% each), while just 11% of students are attending school in person all the time.

There are significant demographic breakdowns in each of those categories, Steve explains. Black, Latino, and lower-income parents are far more likely to report fully remote school. Meanwhile, Catholic, private school, and high-income parents are more likely to have children attending school in-person.

Overall, around half (52%) of parents say the current school year is having a negative impact on their child in terms of academics. Similar numbers say the same of mental / emotional health as well as social / behavioral skills (both 49% negative).


A report from the Massachusetts division of the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that conditions at the Massachusetts Department of Correction are unconstitutional. As Jenn explains, the MDOC could be in violation of the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, if there was "deliberate indifference” to the known risk of self harm and suicide by inmates.

The DOJ argues that a combination of the housing conditions and issues with those who are supposed to be tasked with monitoring and safekeeping prisoners with serious mental health issues created an extremely unsafe situation. The report recommends the DOC improve their monitoring of prisoners on mental health watch.

The DOC has less than 50 days to act. Otherwise, the DOJ can sue the state.

More episodes from The Horse Race

Episode 187: Rising Tides: Under the Sea...port

10/21/21--This week, a poll from Public Policy Polling finds Governor Baker's approval ratings have dipped quite a bit among likely 2022 Republican …

Episode 186: What happens in Mass. if Roe v. Wade falls?

10/13/21--This week, Steve shares findings from the latest poll on the Boston mayoral race. He spells out just how strong Michelle Wu's lead is so …

Episode 185: Can the T Ever be Free?

10/7/21--The MBTA is prone to some bad press, but things have been especially bleak in the past couple of weeks. Candidates in the gubernatorial and Boston mayoral races alike have pointed …

Episode 184: Beacon Hill Breakdown

9/30/21--This week on the podcast, Jenn and Lisa are joined by two longtime friends of the pod, Katie Lannan and Chris Lisinski of State House News Service. They explain all the headline …

Episode 183: What happened in Massachusetts' historic preliminaries

9/23/21--Eleven cities across Massachusetts held preliminary mayoral elections this week. On The Horse Race this week, we're joined by three guests, each of whom have in-depth knowledge on …

Episode 182: Preliminary Report

9/16/21--The Horse Race rides again! We are back in the saddle after being put out to pasture for a summer, producing Mass Reboot (listen right here in this feed if you haven't yet!). In …

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Episode 187: Rising Tides: Under the Sea...port
Start listening to Episode 187: Rising Tides: Under the Sea...port