Entries by Editorial Staff

Research Assistant

Pioneer Institute seeks a research assistant to join its healthcare policy program to work with senior healthcare policy fellows on a variety of projects. Current Pioneer projects include healthcare price transparency, scope of practice laws, reforms in the small group market, data analysis utilizing pricing data from the Center for Health Information and Analysis, and […]

Study Says State Unfunded Pension Liability Rising Despite Recent Reforms, Overall Strong Economy

More responsible assumptions about pension fund investment performance partially responsible for increase BOSTON – Despite several reform bills targeted at the Commonwealth’s public pension system in recent years, the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) has continued to rise and is drawing closer to a crisis level, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “The […]

Study: After Janus, Public Employees Should Only Pay Union Dues, Fees After Knowing, Intelligent Waiver

Public Employers Should Immediately Stop Collecting Agency Fees from Non-Union Members Unless Employees Effectuate Valid Waiver of First Amendment Rights BOSTON – In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus decision, public employers should inform all employees of their right not to pay union dues or agency fees, and such dues and fees […]

Study: Financial Impact of Charter Schools Depends on Percentage of Funding Districts Receive from State

“Foundation” districts unaffected, but charter tuition may cause strain for fast-growing “above-foundation” school districts Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – At a time when the funding of charter schools is widely debated, a new Pioneer Institute study finds that foundation districts are largely unaffected by students who choose to transfer to charter […]

Our Government Transparency Resolutions for 2019

Government transparency has already suffered two major blows in 2019. First, a special legislative commission charged with making recommendations on the legislature’s and governor’s exemptions from public records law failed to reach consensus on a long-awaited report on improvements.> Second, Mr. Transparency himself, State Comptroller Tom Shack, the driver behind CTHRU, the state’s highly acclaimed spending […]

Study Urges Caution Before Adopting ICER Reviews to Determine Cost Effectiveness of Treatments

Review methodology could negatively impact elderly, the disabled, cancer patients and those with rare diseases Media inquiries: Contact Micaela Dawson, 617-723-2277 ext. 203 or mdawson@pioneerinstitute.org BOSTON – As states continue to grapple with prescription drug costs, a new Pioneer Institute study lays out the key ethical, methodological and disease-specific questions policy makers should address before deciding […]

Public Statement on Alma del Mar Charter School Expansion

Last night, Jeffrey Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) made a recommendation concerning Alma del Mar Charter School’s application to serve 1,188 more students in New Bedford. Commissioner Riley is recommending that Alma be expanded to serve 450 more students, that the school accept students from a neighborhood rather than through […]

Study: After-School Programs Can Help Improve Flat or Declining Math Achievement

Philanthropic, other organizations should consider providing financial assistance to allow programs to expand into lower-income communities BOSTON – At a time of declining state and national math proficiency, after-school math programs offer a viable option for quickly increasing the number of mathematically competent students, according to a new Pioneer Institute study that profiles two such programs: […]

Press Release: Pioneer Institute Filed Amicus Brief in Case Applying Supreme Court’s Janus Ruling to MA

BOSTON – On January 8th, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Ben Branch v. Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, in which the SJC will decide how the United States Supreme Court’s June 2018 decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will affect Massachusetts law. Pioneer Institute, through its […]

Announcing Pioneer Institute’s 2019 Better Government Competition: “Moving People & Goods Forward”

America is a country on the move. Our economy and quality of life depend on the effectiveness of our transportation systems. State, local, and federal governments invest hundreds of billions of dollars each year in transportation infrastructure, yet we continue to waste hours in traffic, arrive late for work and medical appointments, and miss out […]

Happy New Year, from Pioneer Institute!

As we ring in 2019, we at Pioneer Institute thank all of you, especially our supporters, for the privilege of hosting public forums with experts and engaging speakers; publishing evidence-based research on the most important public policy issues of the day; and making progress toward better schools, more efficient and accountable government, more affordable healthcare, […]

A Win for Commuters

We are thrilled that the MBTA is moving forward to expand its corporate pass program (CPP) as recommended by Pioneer Institute in January. Pioneer believes the program has great potential to increase both ridership and revenue. The MBTA’s corporate pass program allows employees to purchase T passes through their employers with pre-tax dollars, which in turn reduces employee […]

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 […]