Entries by Editorial Staff

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 […]

The Future of the MBTA

Last year the legislature created the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board with the explicit purpose of ensuring that attention would be focused on the transit system’s safety, reliability and sound fiscal management. This afternoon, the FMCB will host a forum to review work to date on a strategic plan for the MBTA. Pioneer has […]

Study: Massachusetts Charters Enrolling More English Language Learners

Charter ELLs have lower attrition rates, better academic outcomes than district counterparts BOSTON – Massachusetts charter public schools are enrolling more English language learners (ELLs) in recent years, and those students have lower attrition rates and better academic outcomes than their district counterparts, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. As late as […]

Charter School Special-Needs Students Achieving Excellent Outcomes

Percentage Of Charter School Special-Needs Students Is Rising, Outcomes Improving 2010 law required more extensive outreach to students with special needs, provided means to enhance recruitment Read coverage of this report in the Boston Herald: Report counters argument that charters don’t serve special-needs students BOSTON – In the wake of recent public policy changes, Massachusetts charter […]

Survey Finds Prescription Drug Prices Easy To Access, But Not Always Accurate

Wide variation found in price of generics, less for brand-name drugs; consumers must navigate difficult terrain to find lowest price BOSTON – It’s far easier to get prescription drug price information than to get similar numbers from hospitals or specialty physicians, but the information is not always reliable, according to a new survey published by […]

Study Finds Common Core Incompatible With Catholic Education

Singular focus on workforce development conflicts with Catholic schools’ academic, spiritual and moral mission BOSTON – The workforce-preparation focus of the K-12 English and math standards known as Common Core puts them at odds with Catholic education, and the standards should not be adopted by parochial schools, according to a new study published by Pioneer […]

How Phoenix Academies Transform Potential High School Dropouts into College Grads

Study Explores How Phoenix Academies Transform Potential High School Dropouts into College Graduates Network combines second chances and individualized support with academic rigor BOSTON – A network of three Massachusetts public schools is using “relentless support” to help at-risk students not only graduate from high school, but also succeed in college, according to a new […]

More Mass. Charter Public Schools: Daughter of Brown v. Board of Ed Plaintiff Makes the Case

Last Monday, Pioneer hosted the event “Equal Access to Excellence: Charter and District School Reform,” which was co-sponsored by the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Center for Education Reform, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, SABIS®, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Families for Excellent Schools and […]

Op-ed: Charter and district schools need not be adversaries

By Thomas Birmingham This op-ed appeared in the New Bedford Standard Times, The Lowell Sun, The Springfield Republican, and The MetroWest Daily News. In the run-up to a November ballot initiative that would allow more charter schools to open in Massachusetts, charter and traditional public schools have been cast in an adversarial relationship. But that isn’t always […]

Education Access Event to Feature Daughter of Lead Plaintiff in Brown vs Board of Ed

As Massachusetts debates raising the charter school cap, school district reforms, and how to close achievement gaps, Pioneer Institute will host “Equal Access to Excellence: Charter and District School Reform,” at which a diverse group of nationally recognized education reform experts will discuss how to make equal access to quality education a reality for all […]

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 […]