Entries by Editorial Staff

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. […]

Study: No Longer A City On A Hill: Massachusetts Degrades Its K–12 History Standards

The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education should reject a proposed rewrite of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework in its entirety and immediately restore the state’s 2003 framework, considered among the strongest in the country, according to a new research paper titled, No Longer a City on a Hill: Massachusetts Degrades […]

Public Statement: SJC Decision on Prop 80

Pioneer Institute and its public-interest law initiative, PioneerLegal, applaud the decision of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) in Christopher Anderson et al. v. Maura Healey. The SJC upheld decades of precedent in finding that Proposition 80, a ballot initiative that would have instituted a graduated income tax in Massachusetts, violates the “relatedness” provisions of state […]

Poll: Parents, Teachers, Legislators Support Reinstating Passage of U.S. History MCAS Test as High School Graduation Requirement

Strong majorities of parents, history and social studies teachers, and legislators in Massachusetts support restoring passage of a U.S. history MCAS test as a high school graduation requirement, according to a new poll of the three groups commissioned by Pioneer Institute. “Support for the U.S. history graduation requirement has remained strong despite the anti-testing backlash […]

Policy Brief: UMass Has a Spending Problem

Author: Greg Sullivan Date: 6/6/2018 Pioneer’s Director of Research, Greg Sullivan, releases a follow-up policy brief to address the source of UMass’ financial woes. The University of Massachusetts claims admissions policies that favor out-of-state students over in-state residents are required as a result of insufficient state funding growth, but the data tell a different story.     […]

Public Statement: Admission Bias Against Massachusetts Residents

Freshman admission to the University of Massachusetts’ flagship Amherst campus is more competitive for the Commonwealth’s students than for out-of-state applicants, as reported in Pioneer Institute’s study, “Differentiating Admissions Standards at UMass-Amherst to Meet Out-of-State Enrollment Targets.” For instance, in the fall of 2016, the average combined SAT scores of accepted, in-state, first-time degree-seeking Massachusetts […]

Study: UMass Amherst Admissions Standards Now Higher for MA Students than Non-Residents

Freshman admission to the University of Massachusetts’ flagship Amherst campus is more competitive for the Commonwealth’s students than for out-of-state applicants, who pay more to attend, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “The central mission of the University of Massachusetts is to serve the state citizens whose taxes support increased appropriations to […]

Study: Methodology of Noted “Millionaire’s Tax” Researcher Excludes Vast Majority of Millionaires

The work of a Stanford University Professor whose research has formed the foundation of efforts, such as one scheduled to appear on the Massachusetts ballot in November, to impose surtaxes on high earners is flawed because it excludes the vast majority of millionaires, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. Professor Cristobal Young’s […]

Study Finds MA Inter-District School Choice Program a Success, but Should Be Updated

Policy makers should raise tuition rate, cap on program enrollment BOSTON – With little fanfare or controversy, Massachusetts’ inter-district school choice program has allowed students to access better schools and spurred competition between districts, but the 27-year-old choice law should be updated to ensure the program’s continuing success, according to a new study published by […]

Time to End MA State Legislature’s Exemption from Public Records Law

The purpose of transparency laws is to promote more effective, accountable and responsive government. Engaged citizens are essential for our form of government to thrive over the long-term. According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “the founding fathers of our nation strove to develop an open government formed on the principles of democracy […]

Study: MA Private & Religious School Students Denied Federally Funded Special Education Services

Despite federal laws to the contrary, state education agency claims providing services at private schools would violate amendments to state constitution BOSTON – Over the past dozen years, thousands of private and religious school students in Massachusetts have been denied hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of special education services to which they are entitled […]

MA Health Insurers Have Made Good Progress in Price Transparency, But Significant Work Remains

Read press coverage of this report in the Boston Business Journal and State House News Service. Tools are more user friendly and cover growing number of procedures, but still used by just a small fraction of potential market BOSTON – A Pioneer Institute study finds some significant improvements in the online cost estimator tools created by […]

Public Statement: Pioneer Institute Questions UMass Amherst’s Purchase of Mt. Ida Campus

Between September 2015 and the fall of 2017, Pioneer Institute released a series of reports on the University of Massachusetts that chronicled rising fees and tuition, a flood of new administrative hires, the high salaries of top university brass, the university’s out-of-control capital plans, shaky financial planning premised on recruiting an ever-increasing number of out-of-state […]

Press Release: Birmingham Touts 1993 Ed Reform Act’s Success, Expresses Concerns about Recent Policies

BOSTON – Massachusetts Education Reform Act co-author and former Senate President Tom Birmingham praised the historic success that has been achieved since the law was enacted in 1993, but expressed concern that the Commonwealth is veering away from basic principles of the law that produced that success at a State House event marking the 25th […]

Time to End Legislative Exemptions from Public Records & Open Meeting Laws

Under Massachusetts law, the state Legislature is not considered a “public body” in the traditional sense, and therefore enjoys exemptions from open meeting and public records laws. Pioneer Institute believes this is unconstitutional. The state constitution says the Legislature should be accountable to citizens “at all times.” The laws that apply to municipalities and the rest […]

Draft History and Social Studies Frameworks Continue Trend Toward Dumbing Down Public School Content

Weaker ELA and math standards have already produced declines in student achievement BOSTON – The draft of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks that was released for public comment in January would follow in the footsteps of recently adopted English, math, and science standards by representing a decline in academic quality, content, and […]

Inadequate Inflation Adjustment Factor Will Subject Increasing Numbers of People to So-Called “Millionaires” Tax

Would take particular toll on those relying on home value appreciation to fund retirement BOSTON – The tax hike on those with annual taxable incomes of $1 million or more that would result from a proposed amendment to the state constitution scheduled to appear on the Commonwealth’s November ballot will likely ensnare an ever-increasing number […]

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let’s end bigoted laws that block school choice

This St. Patrick’s Day, join us in calling for an end to bigoted, 19th-century anti-Irish and anti-Catholic legal barriers that block access to better schools for hundreds of thousands of underprivileged children. “Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws,” a Pioneer Institute documentary production, seeks to raise public awareness about these constitutional amendments […]

New entry deadline: March 30th! Enter the 2018 Better Government Competition: “Making Higher Education & Career Training Options Affordable & Effective”

Each year, the Better Government Competition focuses on one of the country’s greatest public policy challenges. Families today are struggling to afford college, young adults are saddled with crippling debt, and government workforce development programs and existing education models have not been reliable pipelines to stable employment. In recognition of these challenges, Pioneer Institute’s 2018 […]