THE PIONEER BLOG

MA Colleges Spend Tens of Thousands in Taxpayer Money on Celebrity Commencement Speakers

Graduation season is in full swing, and as a hotbed of higher education, Greater Boston sees hundreds of thousands of students matriculate each spring. These festivities bring visiting parents, landscaped campuses, and, of course, commencement speakers. Celebrity speakers have long been a high-point at commencement ceremonies. Each year, politicians, academics, actors, musicians and CEOs get […]

Celebrating National Charter Public Schools Week

Great charter public schools are about great leadership. Charters in Massachusetts are the best in the country at bridging achievement gaps for our neediest students. They were authorized through the 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act, authored by Bay State leaders like Governor William Weld, Senate President Tom Birmingham, and Representative Mark Roosevelt. They believe that […]

Pioneer is critical because UMass is critical

The University of Massachusetts system is critical to the future of the commonwealth’s economy, and that is why Pioneer started drawing attention to the finances of the five-campus system in the spring of 2016 through the release of its three-part series. With a deferred maintenance backlog of more than $3 billion, the UMass system is […]

So you want to know something about pensions?

Now anyone can become a local pension system expert…  A stitch in time saves nine. But how much will the hole unravel before the seamstress gets the call? We all know procrastination is a bad habit, but it’s far worse if the procrastinators are stewards of the public trust. For far too long, policy makers […]

Green Line Extension gets approval from Feds, but is this really the end of the headache?

The proposal to extend the MBTA’s Green Line from Lechmere into Somerville and Medford, which has been beset by obstacles at seemingly every turn, has finally taken an important step forward.  Part of an environmental mitigation commitment connected to the Big Dig, the Green Line Extension (GLX) initiative appeared to have been in serious jeopardy […]

Commemorating The 100th Anniversary Of U.S. Entry Into World War I

On Tuesday, April 4th, at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston, Pioneer Institute held a forum (see press release) with award-winning historians and history teachers marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into the First World War. The event was co-sponsored by the United States World War I Centennial Commission, […]

Finance Committee & Town Meeting Members: Benchmarking Tools for the FY2018 Budget Season

Understanding how your community performs relative to its peers is critical in effectively scrutinizing municipal budgets. Pioneer Institute has reintroduced its FREE online tool, MassAnalysis, with the most up-to-date information available from the Department of Revenue and FBI to help you do just that. With a couple of clicks, you can develop a dashboard for your community […]

“The War to End All Wars”: Teaching the First World War in Schools

Please join Pioneer Institute, the United States World War One Centennial Commission, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies, and other co-sponsors, at a forum with award-winning historians and history teachers marking the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into the First World War. America’s first engagement as a major global actor, […]

2017 Hewitt Healthcare Lecture: “Evolving Healthcare Delivery Models”

Paul F. Levy, former President & CEO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will moderate a panel discussion on the changing face of the healthcare market and innovations to meet consumer demand. Additional speakers: Fay Donohue, Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle, CEO of Iora Health Rob Graybill, Vice President of Product […]

The Changing Face of Retirement: The mature workforce and keeping older adults engaged

For many older Americans, the concept of retirement has a different meaning in 2017 relative to thirty, twenty, or even just ten years ago. The traditional notion of retirement at age 65 is becoming a thing of the past—and a growing number of older adults are opting to stay in the workforce into their late […]

Sunshine Week 2017: Highlights from Pioneer’s Government Transparency Team

It’s Sunshine Week once again! While it may fall close to spring break, it means something even better than Coppertone and Daytona Beach. Each year during Sunshine Week, Pioneer reviews the government transparency work it has completed through the year to highlight efforts to bring greater public accountability to Massachusetts. Our objective is to have […]

Cursive and Historical Literacy: A Real World Example

In the age of computers and modern convenience, the relevancy of cursive is continually called into question. Compared to the countless fonts designed with modern aesthetics, cursive seems unwieldy – and when placed side-by-side with written print, less readable. Yet across the nation students still learn how to write and read in cursive, and it […]

Improving Access To Health Systems Available To Older Patients

Guest post by Alex Carlin As more Americans age in place, policymakers face a number of challenges in ensuring adequate healthcare access for older adults. A central concern is the growing divide between the services available to elders living in urban settings and those in rural communities. In less densely populated areas, which often have […]

Governor’s Plan to Cap Healthcare Provider Prices Misses the Mark

The Governor filed a number of healthcare market reform proposals along with his fiscal 2018 budget. One of his proposals aimed at reining in healthcare costs would impose limits, or capitate, the prices that insurance companies are allowed to pay providers (physicians and hospitals); it appears that the capitated prices serve as an indirect way […]