Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's 'hood

I'm currently under lockdown in Cambridge about a mile from the Watertown neighborhood where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is reported to be holed up. He's in a quiet residential neighborhood that has a large Armenian population, and many great Armenian food stores on nearby Mount Auburn Street. Many times I have taken a short-cut through these streets, and I have eaten at a restaurant called Strip-T's, whose roof is now covered with SWAT teams.

Last night I was at a meeting of the Cambridge GOP near MIT. We adjourned at around 9:15 PM and I drove down Mass Ave past the 7-11 that the brothers robbed at around 10 PM.

So far I only know what I've heard on the television. My kids are home from school and my poor dog is wondering when why her morning walk was canceled.

I can second Thomas Lifson's assessment of Cambridge Rindge & Latin. The school has improved in the last decades, and it offers many opportunities for motivated students --  for example, students can take classes at Harvard if the subject isn't offered at the high school. But CRLS is definitely an urban high school and a second choice to the dozens of world-class private schools in the Boston area. Cambridge is split between lower income immigrants who mostly live in East Cambridge, where the marathon bombers lived, and the wealthy professors like Elizabeth Warren, who don't send their kids to the public high school.

According to an article in the Harvard Crimson: "With an enrollment consisting of 50 percent minority students, Rindge and Latin is one of the country's most diverse public high schools. Students representing 64 different nations and speaking 46 different primary languages make up the student body."

Money is not a problem at CRLS-we taxpayers spend around $26,000 per pupil, but in 2011 the high school ranked around 217th out out of 342 school districts on standardized tests. It is rated as one of the top 50 schools in Massachusetts by Boston Magazine -- because of very flawed methodology which counts per pupil spending as a positive factor.

This is an article I wrote for the Cambridge Chronicle on "Why do Cambridge Schools Cost so Much?"