Entries by Editorial Staff

Moving the MBTA Forward

We are pleased that former Pioneer Institute Research Director Steve Poftak has been named the next General Manager of the MBTA. While at Pioneer, Steve oversaw and directly authored a high-quality portfolio of research that spanned from transportation and infrastructure to pension and other state and local post-employment liabilities. Pioneer has long been committed to advancing […]

Leading Public Intellectual Steven Pinker to Headline 2018 Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy

Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Bestselling Author to Be Honored at Pioneer Gala & 30th Anniversary Celebration Contact Micaela Dawson, 617-723-2277 ext. 203 or mdawson@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – Tonight, Dr. Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, will provide the keynote remarks at Pioneer Institute’s 2018 Lovett C. Peters Lecture in […]

Review of MBTA Twitter Alerts Finds Fewer “Delayed” Trains, Corresponding Increase in Those “Running Behind”

BOSTON – A review of four years of MBTA commuter rail Twitter alerts reveals that the number of trains that are “delayed” has fallen, but there is a commensurate increase in the number of trains classified as “running behind,” leaving the overall number of late trains largely unchanged. “While the terminology has changed, it appears […]

Public Statement on MBTA Ridership & Pension Costs

Monday’s meeting of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board brought bad news on two fronts:  T ridership is down and pension costs are up.  Neither is a new problem, but both will require bold action to fix. Specifically, ridership was down 2 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.  As a […]

New Bedford Mayor Flip-Flops on Charter Support

The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted New Bedford’s fight over the expansion of a highly successful Southcoast charter public school, Alma del Mar. In the last few months, New Bedford’s mayor Jon Mitchell has channeled his inner, vengeful Captain Ahab to vocally rally charter school opposition among his city’s educational special interest groups (here, here, […]

The Roger Perry Internship Program

Pioneer has established the Roger Perry Internship Program to support college-age students who seek opportunities to enhance their educational experience with practical training in an energetic and creative public policy environment.

“Catch-22” of State Prevailing Wage Law Prevents Flagger Reform from Achieving Significant Savings

State law sets prevailing wage at highest collectively bargained rate, which ties civilian flagger pay rates to police detail rates Read about this report in the Boston Herald. BOSTON – The unusual way in which Massachusetts determines prevailing wages and the fact that civilian flaggers are subject to state prevailing wage law explain why a 2008 […]

Happy Thanksgiving from Pioneer Institute!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, a distinctly American tradition, let us enjoy the company of friends and family, and reflect on the many reasons we have to be grateful. Pioneer is thankful for your continued support and the amazing generosity that our community has shown the Institute. Your commitment to our mission makes it possible for […]

Co-author of Landmark Longfellow Bridge Study Optimistic about State Infrastructure Maintenance Investments

BOSTON – Reconstruction of the Longfellow Bridge is now complete, and the co-author of a landmark study about the Longfellow’s restoration sees reasons to be optimistic that the Commonwealth is becoming more responsible about maintaining its infrastructure assets, according to a new Policy Brief published by Pioneer Institute. “The Longfellow Bridge was like a family […]

The Future of Transportation in the Commonwealth

Taking advantage of the public comment period, Pioneer Institute is today releasing its recommendations to the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Transportation.  The suggestions cover governance, budgeting and operations, the role of public transit during a period of transformative change and maintaining a focus on increasing MBTA ridership. In terms of governance, Pioneer recommends […]

Study Finds Vast Majority of Teacher Union Dues Fund State and National Affiliates

Local MTA affiliates that conduct collective bargaining negotiations retain average of just 16 percent of dues revenue BOSTON – Just 16 percent of dues paid by the average member of a union affiliated with the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) actually goes to their local association, while the remaining 84 percent flows to the state (MTA) […]

Marking the Centennial of the Armistice of the First World War

November 11th marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of the First World War. America’s first engagement as a major global actor, the rise of German militarism and the Soviet Union, and the geographic boundaries of the Middle East, are only some of the reasons why World War I is often considered the most influential event of […]

Introducing the Newest Members of Pioneer Institute’s Board of Directors

Pioneer Institute is thrilled to introduce five new members of our Board of Directors. At our annual meeting last week, the Institute welcomed leaders with backgrounds in law, finance, real estate, and manufacturing, who are enthusiastic supporters of Pioneer’s mission to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civil discourse and practical policy solutions. […]

Study Finds MassHealth’s Enhanced Eligibility Verification Saves $250 Million a Year

Reforms fixed MassHealth’s $1.2 billion eligibility crisis, freed up money to be redirected to needy recipients BOSTON – Enhanced eligibility verification allowed MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program, to save significant resources that could be redirected to the care of truly needy Medicaid recipients, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “MassHealth’s success at digging […]

New Book on Massachusetts Charter Public Schools Touts Record of Achievement, Minimal Impact on District Finances

Recommendations Include Promoting Innovation, Removing Limits on Growth Read coverage in The 74 Million: “Author of ‘The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation’ Talks Confronting Hard Truths About Growing Massachusetts Charters” and “Book Excerpt: Former Massachusetts Gov. Weld & State Sen. Birmingham on Lessons Learned From the Fight Over America’s Best Charter […]

Study Finds Declining Student Achievement and Increased Harm to School Choice Since Common Core

Read coverage of this report in The Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and The Federalist. Curriculum centralization has failed to improve international competitiveness—it’s time to re-think curriculum standards-based reform BOSTON – While U.S. academic performance has declined since the broad implementation of Common Core, school choice programs are increasingly hamstrung by regulations that require private schools […]

Pioneer Institute Awards Gala to Highlight Proposals to Address Student Debt Crisis & Promote Job Training

Speakers Include John Sexton, NYU President Emeritus; Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Contact Micaela Dawson, 617-723-2277 ext. 203 or mdawson@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – Programs that help address the student debt crisis and America’s growing skills mismatch will be highlighted at Pioneer Institute’s 27th annual Better Government Competition Awards Gala on Monday, September 24th at the Seaport Hotel […]

Join us on Oct. 16 for a Book Release Event: “The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation”

Join us for a lively discussion of Pioneer Institute’s new book, The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation, featuring author Dr. Cara Stillings Candal, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, former state Senate President Tom Birmingham, and a panel of distinguished education experts who will explore how we can reinvigorate the public dialogue […]

Video Highlights Long-Running Journal that Publishes History Essays by High School Students

BOSTON – A new video highlights the work of Will Fitzhugh, who for years has operated The Concord Review, a journal that publishes history essays by secondary students from across the country and around the globe. “Will Fitzhugh has dedicated his career to disseminating the superb work of high school students to their peers and […]

Pioneer Institute Announces Winner of 27th Annual Better Government Competition

NYU President Emeritus, Massachusetts Governor to Headline Awards Gala BOSTON – Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce that Purdue University’s “Back a Boiler” program is the winner of the 27th annual Better Government Competition. This year, the topic was making higher education and career training options affordable and effective. The competition received over 80 entries […]

Kudos To CHIA On Major Step Toward Greater Healthcare Price Transparency

Pioneer applauds the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) on its recent release of all data behind its consumer facing CompareCare pricing tool for Massachusetts consumers. The CHIA CompareCare tool contains payer- provider specific data for 295 common procedures. To access each payer-provider-procedure, consumers have to search the CHIA tool. For several years, Pioneer, along with […]

Public Statement: The State Legislature’s Answer to the Janus Decision: The Employee Coercion & Intimidation Act

Pioneer has previously referred to a “Tammany Hall-like nexus” between organized labor and Massachusetts elected officials. Nothing proves that statement more than the Legislature’s attempt to negate the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision, in which the Court found that public employees cannot be forced to pay fees to unions they don’t want […]

Report Recommends Alternatives to Drug Pricing Transparency Legislation

Value-based reimbursement, focus on middlemen in drug distribution system more likely to reduce prices, provide consumers with valuable information BOSTON – As Massachusetts lawmakers consider healthcare price transparency legislation, a new Pioneer Institute study finds that most new drug pricing transparency laws do not lower consumer out-of-pocket costs, and that expensive and onerous compliance rules […]

Survey Shows Wide Variation in Both Overall Cost of Medical Procedure and Amount Paid by Consumers

Making all-payer claims data public could put downward pressure on high-cost providers, reduce overall healthcare costs   BOSTON – Data from the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) show wide variations in the prices agreed to between individual insurers and providers, the portion paid by insurers and the amount that is consumers’ responsibility to […]

Study: Boston-Area Communities Should Loosen Restrictions for Accessory Dwelling Units

Additional units could help ease housing shortage BOSTON—A review of 100 cities and towns around (but not including) Boston finds that loosening local zoning laws to allow for the development of more accessory dwelling units (ADUs) would help ease the region’s housing shortage without creating any significant problems, according to a new study published by […]

New Study Warns of Emergence of Two-Tiered Public Education System in Massachusetts

Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org Overall 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade math scores flat, but percentage scoring in top category continues to rise BOSTON – A review of the performance of Massachusetts students on National Assessment of Academic Progress 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade math tests shows that overall improvement has stalled in the […]

Inspired by America’s past, facing future challenges

As we celebrate America’s birth, we are reminded that this is a nation built on ideas, but powered by individuals – motivated by the pursuit of happiness, drawing on deep wells of courage, hard work, and optimism – who overcame challenges to achieve superhuman feats. We here in Massachusetts hold a special place in this […]

Public Statement: Janus v. AFSCME Decision

Pioneer Institute applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Janus v. AFSCME, a case with significant implications for Massachusetts in which the Court held that public employees who choose not to join a union cannot be compelled to pay the union an “agency fee” to cover the cost of contract negotiations and workplace grievance procedures. […]