Entries by Editorial Staff

PioneerLegal Submits Amicus Brief In Pacheco-Law Case Before SJC

Pioneer Institute (Pioneer) has submitted an amicus brief supporting the defendants in SEIU, Local 509 v. Massachusetts Department of Mental Health et al. (SJC-12035). The case was argued on September 6, 2016, before the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC). It involves a claim by the SEIU challenging contracts awarded by the state Department of […]

Op-ed: Teaching American History: A Straightforward Fix For The Bay State

Read this full article on WGBH News.  THOMAS BIRMINGHAM It’s often said that what isn’t tested isn’t taught.  At the same time, recent federal laws compel far too much standardized testing.  State education leaders should reinstate passage of a U.S. history MCAS test as a high school graduation requirement, as was envisioned in the commonwealth’s […]

Join us 9/19: Equal Access to Excellence: Charter & District School Reform

As the Commonwealth debates lifting charter school caps, district reforms, and strategies for closing achievement gaps, Pioneer is hosting an event featuring Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of the late Rev. Oliver Brown, namesake of the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education. A diverse panel of nationally recognized school reform experts will discuss how best to make […]

Study Highlights Best Practices In Summer Enrichment Programs

Read coverage of this report in The Recorder. Second of three-part summer enrichment series with focus on high-need students BOSTON – The second of a three-part Pioneer Institute series of studies on summer enrichment programs with a particular focus on opportunities for disadvantaged students highlights best practices in the field by profiling a range of […]

Mass. Public Officials Must Brush Aside The Know-Nothings’ Legacy Of Bigotry

Last week, Pioneer Institute Executive Director Jim Stergios sent a letter to Governor Baker and the leaders of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Senate asking them to support our call to move the portrait of Know-Nothing Governor Henry J. Gardner from its current location at the entrance to the House of Representatives. Gov. […]

Event To Call For Moving “Know-Nothing” Governor’s Portrait From State House Wall

Bigoted Know-Nothing Amendments still part of state constitution Read coverage in The Boston Globe: “School-choice advocates target portrait of 19th-century governor” BOSTON – Former Ambassador to the Vatican and three-term mayor of Boston Raymond Flynn will headline an event calling for moving symbols and repealing amendments from a disgraceful and bigoted chapter in Massachusetts history. […]

Leveling the Playing Field for the Taxi Industry

As a Massachusetts state legislative committee considers a contentious ridesharing regulation bill, a new Pioneer Institute report urges lawmakers to explore changes to the taxi industry that would modernize service and increase competition in a marketplace that includes innovators like Uber and Lyft.  A recent U.S. District Court ruling ordered the City of Boston to revise […]

Study: Expand Use of Transponder Technology to Parking, Other Non-Tolling Services

Report calls for creation of single account to simplify customer experience, boosting transponder market share, streamlining MassDOT services BOSTON – With all-electronic tolling and the elimination of Turnpike toll booths set to take effect later this year, a new Pioneer Institute white paper calls on state leaders to embrace transponder technology for a wider variety […]

Join us 8/1: “Move This Portrait: The Know-Nothings’ Governor & Barriers to School Choice”

Henry Gardner was the Know-Nothing Governor of Massachusetts who led the effort to persuade lawmakers to adopt a state constitutional amendment that blocks greater access to school choice. Today, his State House portrait hangs next to the Main Entrance to the House of Representatives. Bigoted and antiquated state legal barriers prevent Massachusetts’ K-12 students and families  from […]

PioneerLegal Joins Amicus Brief In Takings Case Before Sixth Circuit

Pioneer Institute (Pioneer) has joined in an amicus brief in Brott vs. U.S., a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit involving a claim that the federal government took plaintiffs’ land through eminent domain without compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s requirement of just compensation. Pioneer identified this case through […]

Study: Character Education in Mass. Charter Public Schools Improving Academic Results, Social Behavior

Two local case studies demonstrate benefits, but many programs also fall short. BOSTON – At a time when the priorities in K-12 education have skewed towards STEM courses and academic achievement scores, two new papers from Pioneer Institute highlight how teaching character education in schools can benefit students even beyond the classroom, but can be […]

Mobile Medication, Early Intervention, Suicide Prevention, and Opioid Addiction Programs Win 25th Annual Better Government Competition

BOSTON – Pioneer Institute’s 25th annual Better Government Competition received nearly 100 entries from agencies and organizations across the U.S. on the topic, “Improving Care for Individuals with Mental Illness.” One winner, four runners-up and four special recognition recipients will be recognized at the Institute’s Awards Gala on June 20th at the Hyatt Regency in […]

Study: BID-Plymouth Program Shows Promise in Battling Opioid Abuse

Collaborative ER-based approach improves access to detox treatment, reducing relapses and saving money. BOSTON – Preliminary results suggest that a new program that gives opioid overdose patients at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth (BID-Plymouth) multiple opportunities to access detox programs, psychological counseling, anti-abuse drugs and other services is proving effective at reducing recidivism and returning opioid users […]

Pioneer Institute Public Statement to the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board

Earlier this week, Fox 25 News reported that Michael Mulhern, the executive director of the MBTA Retirement Fund, will be triple-dipping from taxpayer-funded pensions. A few days earlier, Mulhern announced his intention to resign from the fund in August. In addition to healthcare coverage, he is already receiving a $65,000 pension from the T as […]

Study Calls for Reforming Bridgewater State Hospital, Commonwealth’s Solitary Confinement Practices

Read coverage of this report in State House New Service and The Springfield Republican. State should halt trend toward housing mentally ill in correctional facilities BOSTON – Reforming the commonwealth’s solitary confinement policies and the troubled Bridgewater State Hospital would be important steps to halt the trend in recent decades toward housing more mentally ill individuals […]

Study: T Pensions Would Be Worth $902M More Had Assets Been Managed by State Pension Fund After 2000

MBTA would have saved $676 million, T pensions would have been fully funded BOSTON – Had MBTA Retirement Fund (MBTARF) assets been placed in the state pension fund at the end of 2000, their value would have been an estimated $902 million greater by 2014 and T pensions would have been about fully funded, according […]

Survey: Majority of MA Independent Schools Offer Academically Oriented Summer Programs

Report is first in series on summer enrichment programs that can prevent summer learning loss, narrow achievement gap Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – A survey of more than 70 Massachusetts private and parochial schools found that most offer academically-oriented summer programs, which have been found to prevent summer learning loss […]

With UMass Tuition Hikes on Horizon, Key Issues for Legislators to Consider

Pioneer Institute Public Statement Later this month, the University of Massachusetts’ Board of Trustees will again vote on tuition and fee increases. In the fall of 2015, UMass charged the 13th highest tuition of 172 public universities in the U.S., higher even than UC-Berkeley and UCLA, the two top-ranked public universities according to US News […]

Honoring the Service and Sacrifice of Our Veterans

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the men and women who have courageously defended the ideals and freedoms that Americans hold so dear. We also view it as a poignant reminder that we must ensure our children are learning about the important events and principles that have shaped our nation. For many years, we have been calling […]

Pioneer Forming Transparency Working Group to Help Curb Healthcare Costs

Contact Josh Archambault (617) 645-7679 (josh@pioneerinstitute.org) or Barbara Anthony (857) 998-0273 (banthony@pioneerinstitute.org) BOSTON – With state government officials seeking alternatives to an initiative petition that would implement healthcare price controls, Pioneer Institute will help form a new working group on healthcare price transparency to explore opportunities to improve patients’ access to crucial information about the […]

Are UMass’ Aggressive Capital Expansion & Out-of-State Recruitment Good for Mass. Students?

Read media coverage of this series:  The Boston Globe, The Boston Business Journal, the Associated Press, The Springfield Republican, The Lowell Sun, State House News Service, WAMC Studies Find Improved UMass Academic Standing and Student Quality May Come at Expense of Commitment to Massachusetts Students Campuses have seen dramatic rise in enrollment from outside Massachusetts; […]

Charter Funding Study Calls For Money To More Closely Follow Students

State should fund “target aid,” increase funding that follows special needs students, and reduce district reimbursements BOSTON – Massachusetts’ charter school funding formula should maintain the shared responsibility of state and local governments to fund education, but improvements could address a number of weaknesses and allow money to more easily follow students, according to a […]

Join Us May 4th: “Best Practices from Urban Charter Public Schools”

As the charter public school debate heats up, it’s important to remember that urban charter schools are Massachusetts’ best option for closing achievement gaps. On May 4th, we’ll hear from a national charter school leader, a noted researcher, as well as charter opponents and advocates about the controversy and its lessons for urban schools.

Study: State Ridesharing Regs Should Focus More on Consumer Preferences, Less on Protecting Cab Companies

BOSTON – Legislation recently approved by the Massachusetts House to create a new Ride for Hire Division within the state Department of Public Utilities to regulate Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber, Lyft and Fasten includes a number of fair and sensible protections for TNC customers, but goes too far to protect the outdated system […]

2016 Hewitt Healthcare Lecture: “Facing Down the Opioid Crisis”

On April 20, 2016, Pioneer welcomed medical professionals, researchers, policy experts, and many others to our annual Hewitt Healthcare Lecture. This year’s topic, “Facing Down the Opioid Crisis” addressed a timely issue here in Massachusetts. Watch the video below: Our Keynote speaker was Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, a leader […]

Study: Are Drug Prices Driving Healthcare Cost Growth?

Study: Requiring Drug Companies to Disclose Price Methodologies, Other Proprietary Information Would Discourage Drug Development, Lead to Higher Long-Term Healthcare Costs Promoting competition, looking more closely at healthcare price opacity would be more effective ways to limit cost inflation Read coverage of this report in The Boston Globe, MarketWatch and State House News Service. BOSTON – State […]

Pulitzer Prize Winners To Be Featured At Event On Teaching Jacksonian Democracy In Schools

Student Essay Contest Winners Announced Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – Two Pulitzer Prize-winning historians will be among the speakers at “The Age of Jacksonian Democracy: Teaching Antebellum America in Schools,” a Pioneer Institute forum to be held at the 46th Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies on Wednesday, April […]