Entries by Editorial Staff

Celebrating School Choice Week: The METCO Program

On Day 2 of National School Choice Week, we take a closer look at METCO, which provides over 3,300 children in Boston and Springfield with access to high-performing suburban schools. METCO, the nation’s longest-running voluntary school desegregation program, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. As our research has shown, test scores and graduation rates are higher […]

Celebrating School Choice Week: Charter Public Schools

Today marks the beginning of National School Choice Week, an annual celebration of the variety of high-quality academic options available to families across the U.S. Each day this week at Pioneer Institute, we’ll be highlighting charter public schools, the METCO program, digital learning, vocational-technical schools, and independent and parochial schools. We kick off the week with video […]

Study: MA Charter Public Schools Have Lower Attrition Rates Than Sending School Districts

Charters also seeing higher special needs enrollment, helping those students achieve strong outcomes BOSTON – Data from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) show that Massachusetts charter public schools have lower attrition rates than the district schools from which their students come, according to a study published by Pioneer Institute. “These data […]

Report Calls for Independent Audit & Actuarial Valuation of T Pension Fund

Response commissioned by fund to whistleblower report dismissed or ignored red flags This report received press coverage in: The Boston Globe, The Boston Business Journal, and numerous radio and television outlets. BOSTON – The MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) should commission an independent audit and actuarial valuation of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority […]

Pioneer Celebrates the Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, America celebrates the legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose eloquence and courage mobilized this nation during the Civil Rights era. Over the last several years, Pioneer Institute has promoted U.S. History instruction and school choice options in K-12 schooling. We seek to ensure that schoolchildren will learn about their national heritage […]

Aging In America: Help us ensure a better future for older citizens

Pioneer Institute’s 2017 Better Government Competition  topic, “Aging in America,” is timely and critical. The older population in the United States and elsewhere is expected to increase dramatically in the coming decades as those in the post-war baby boom generation approach retirement. The population of people 65 and over will double – from 36 million […]

Study Highlights Best Practices For Establishing and Updating K-12 History Standards

Massachusetts should be cautious in updating its highly regarded history standards BOSTON – As Massachusetts sets about the task of reviewing its K-12 history and social science standards, a new study published by Pioneer Institute describes the processes that have produced exceptional state standards as well as pitfalls that the commonwealth should avoid. In “Laboratories […]

Public Statement on Nonrenewal of Keolis Commuter Rail Contract

Pioneer Institute welcomes the news that the MBTA will not renew its contract with problem-plagued commuter rail operator Keolis Commuter Services when the term ends in 2022. If the MBTA can put an effective bidding process into place for the next contract, this is a positive development for the hundred thousand-plus riders who depend on […]

Before the clock strikes midnight…

Before the clock strikes midnight tomorrow evening, we look back at twelve big wins at Pioneer Institute this past year.  Retaining control over Massachusetts’ robust public school assessments Finding solutions to ensure the safety of vulnerable children in the custody of the Department of Children and Families The establishment of an emergency control board to […]

Happy Holidays!

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a healthy, happy holiday season and a prosperous new year! – Your friends at Pioneer Consider giving the gift of Pioneer Membership to friends and colleagues interested in our work: Or help young professionals expand their network through a New Leaders Membership:

Pioneer Institute Statement On The MBTA Contract With The Carmen’s Union

In February 2015, Pioneer Institute issued a statement citing the numerous problems that faced the MBTA and its riders. The release noted that the MBTA board, as then structured, had failed the public, resulting in a highly mismanaged system of mass transit in metropolitan Boston. Pioneer recommended that the current board structure be dissolved and replaced […]

Op-ed: Challenge and Opportunity for Catholic Education

Given our desire to do as much as we can, especially to help poor urban kids participate fully in the American Dream, we need to provide them with access to school choice options: charter schools; vocational-technical schools; private and parochial schools; and METCO. Choice is what the privileged have for their children. Why shouldn’t everyone have access to high quality academic options?

Study Calls For Steps Toward Terminating Troubled MBTA Retirement Fund

The MBTA should assess the feasibility of moving its employees out of the Social Security system and transfer investment management responsibility for its pension fund to the commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Management board as initial steps toward terminating the MBTA Retirement Fund

Study Urges New MBTA Strategic Plan to Focus on Attracting More Riders

Increased ridership would boost revenue, reduce congestion and bring environmental benefits BOSTON – Measurable targets for increasing ridership would be an effective organizing principle as the MBTA develops its strategic plan, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “Increasing ridership aligns well with many of the MBTA’s subsidiary goals,” said Pioneer Institute Research […]

“Aging In America” Is Topic For Pioneer Institute’s 26th Better Government Competition

BOSTON – “Aging in America” is the topic of Pioneer Institute’s 26th Better Government Competition (BGC). For 2017, Pioneer seeks ideas on how to ensure a better future for aging citizens in Massachusetts and throughout the country by providing more effective and sustainable support systems for older citizens and leveraging their social capital. The Better Government […]

A Time to Give Back

Coming on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a day to refocus on what’s most important – a day during the holiday season for business leaders, families, students, community organizations and others to celebrate giving back to the causes we value most. At Pioneer, that means improving the quality of life […]

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pioneer Institute could not continue promoting world-class schools, affordable healthcare, reliable public transit service, government accountability, and economic prosperity for all without the generous support of our donors. In the coming weeks and months, look for an announcement about our 2017 Better Government Competition, and more in-depth research on the MBTA, academic standards, and other […]

2016 Lovett C. Peters Lecture: Global Security, Opportunity & Leadership in the 21st Century

Fletcher School Dean to Deliver 2016 Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy Retired Four-Star Admiral James Stavridis will address Global Security, Opportunity & Leadership in the 21st Century BOSTON – Admiral James Stavridis, United States Navy (Ret.), Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, will deliver Pioneer Institute’s 2016 […]

Major Gift Announcement: The Peters Legacy Society

~In Memory of R. Kingman Webster~ We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of R. Kingman “King” Webster, a longtime confidant to Pioneer’s founder, Lovett C. “Pete” Peters, a benefactor for almost two decades, and a key member of the Institute’s early Board of Directors. After retiring from a fourth generation, family-owned business […]

Former Vatican Amb., Dante Scholar & Noted Author among Speakers at Catholic Schooling & the Liberal Arts Event

Introductory remarks from world-renowned NYC-based Catholic priest BOSTON – Pioneer Institute will hold a forum on the current status of K-12 Catholic education in America and the role of classical liberal arts learning for all, on Monday, November 14 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. at the Omni Parker House hotel in downtown Boston. UPDATE: Watch Livestream Recording […]

Join us 11/14! “The Life You Save: Catholic Schooling & the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century”

In the 21st century, Catholic education faces many challenges; however, its mission of classical liberal arts learning for all has been among its most enduring legacies. Please join us for a forum on K-12 Catholic schooling that will feature an internationally-recognized priest, authors, scholars, and educators, as they discuss the current status of K-12 Catholic […]

Be informed, especially today

Pioneer Institute’s core mission is educating the public on policy issues. No issue is more important to the future of the Commonwealth – and our nation – than education. So, as you head to the polls, we’d like to make sure you are armed with facts – not noise. The ballot this year includes a […]

Study Finds Boston Charter Students More Likely to Take and Pass AP Tests

Pass rates for African-American, Latino, and economically disadvantaged students also higher than corresponding Boston Public Schools numbers BOSTON – Boston charter public school students are more likely than their counterparts in non-exam Boston Public Schools (BPS) to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses and tests, and Boston charters have also done a better job of helping […]

Cap, Talent Pipeline, And Facilities Funding Among Factors Prohibiting State Charter Sector From Achieving Scale

“Yes” vote on statewide ballot initiative could attract more quality charter management organizations BOSTON – Raising the cap, strengthening teacher and school leader pipelines, and revising facilities funding are among the key factors if Massachusetts is to succeed at bringing its charter school sector to scale, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. […]

Putting Healthcare Consumers First

Last week, Massachusetts’ Health Policy Commission convened for the annual Cost Trends Hearing, a two-day event exploring the Bay State’s healthcare market through expert testimony from industry representatives and policy makers. Although the wide-ranging discussion covered many important topics, there was a distinct lack of focus on how consumers interact with and perceive our current […]

Op-ed: Vote ‘yes’ on Question 2

This excerpt is from an op-ed published on Oct. 18, 2016 in The Boston Globe, authored by Thomas Birmingham and Mark Roosevelt, co-authors of the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act. “We included charter public schools in the 1993 law to provide poor parents with the type of educational choice that wealthy parents have always enjoyed. By keeping charter […]

Op-ed: Mass. charters fight racial oppression

By Sephira Shuttlesworth By 1959, my late husband, the Birmingham, Ala. civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, had been beaten with bike chains, brass knuckles, and baseball bats by a segregationist mob, had his church bombed twice and survived his house being bombed by the Ku Klux Klan on Christmas Day. On a Monday night […]