Entries by Editorial Staff

Study: Updated Massachusetts K-12 Standards Are Worse in English, Still Mediocre in Math

Read news coverage: “Report warns of falling test scores” (Salem News, Newburyport Daily News, Gloucester Times). Both 2010 and 2017 standards demonstrably inferior to state’s pre-2010 academic standards BOSTON – The 2017 update of Massachusetts’ English and math K-12 academic standards represents further deterioration in English, while the math standards are essentially unchanged from the 2010 version, […]

Op-ed: Our schools ignore US history at our peril

By Tom Birmimgham | Nov. 30, 2017 State must make good on requirement for history instruction and testing ABOUT 25 YEARS AGO, as a member of the Massachusetts Senate, I co-authored the Massachusetts Education Reform Act. Drafting a complex bill with such far-reaching consequences requires significant compromise, but one thing my counterparts in the House of Representatives […]

Op-ed: It’s Time to Strengthen—Not Reduce!—History in Our Classrooms

By Tom Birmingham This op-ed appeared in the print edition of American Heritage magazine (Volume 62 Issue 5), with a preface from the Editor. The op-ed also appeared in the MetroWest Daily News and Milford Daily News. It is painful to see a state such as Massachusetts — so central to our Nation’s past — plan to cut back even more […]

Happy Thanksgiving from Pioneer Institute!

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family, share a traditional feast, and express gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. We at Pioneer have much to be thankful for, most importantly for your trust in and support of the Institute.  We are also grateful for the opportunity to organize informative events, engage high-profile […]

Press Release: Definitive Biographer of Pope St. John Paul II to Keynote Cristo Rey High Schools Event

Update: Watch the event videos below, in order.   Pioneer Institute to simultaneously release study on Cristo Rey schools BOSTON – George Weigel, who wrote a bestselling two-volume biography of Pope St. John Paul II; former Ambassador to the Vatican and three-term Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn; and Jeffrey Thielman, co-founder of the Cristo Rey Network […]

2017 Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy to Focus on Politics and Polarization on American Campuses

Social Psychologist & National Commentator Jonathan Haidt to Deliver Keynote Address at Pioneer Institute Annual Dinner BOSTON – Dr. Jonathan Haidt, the leading national commentator on controversial speech at colleges and universities, will deliver Pioneer Institute’s 2017 Lovett C. Peters Lecture on Tuesday, November 7th, in Boston. “With the escalating battle over free speech on […]

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

Read the full biographies for all of the new members of Pioneer Institute’s Board of Directors below. Steven P. Akin Steve Akin retired in December 2008 as president of Fidelity Personal Investments (FPI), the retail division of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement […]

Moving the Needle on Healthcare Cost Containment & Reform

Today, Pioneer Institute submitted recommendations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Special Senate Committee on Health Care Cost Containment and Reform. Pioneer applauds provisions of the proposed legislation that would reduce emergency room use and re-admissions, expand scope of practice, and embrace telemedicine. The Committee should also be commended for looking to other states’ accomplishments in […]

Join us 11/13: “Witnessing Hope: Cristo Rey Schools & Catholic Education”

As the country is engaged in a national discussion about equality of educational opportunity, school choice, and religious freedom, join us at a public forum featuring nationally recognized experts on Catholic leadership and schooling, that will highlight a successful model of Catholic high school education. Date: November 13, 2017 Time: 8:30 am – 11:00 am […]

Study: Proposition 80 Would Give MA 2nd Highest Combined State & Federal Capital Gains Tax Rate in U.S.

Read coverage of this report in the Boston Herald: “Study: ‘Millionaire’s tax’ would hurt state” and the Boston Business Journal: “‘Millionaires’ tax’ would make Mass. an outlier in capital gains tax, says group” Unlike federal government, gains could move taxpayers into higher state bracket  BOSTON – If voters approve Proposition 80, scheduled to appear on […]

Is it time to expand water transportation in Greater Boston?

A recent Pioneer Institute report explored the benefits of increased investment in the MBTA’s water-based public transportation service to meet the growing demand among commuters in Massachusetts’ coastal communities. In the brief video clip below, Pioneer Institute Research & Policy Associate Matt Blackbourn shares key findings from this report, which he co-authored with Pioneer Research […]

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Arguments in Janus v. AFSCME

Pioneer Institute Signed onto Amicus Brief Urging Court to Accept Case BOSTON – The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME, a case involving an Illinois public employee who sued the defendant claiming that being compelled to pay an agency fee violates his First Amendment right to freely express dissent. […]

Don’t Stop the Momentum on T Reform

Today, Pioneer Institute submits testimony in support of MBTA bus maintenance and management reform at a hearing of the Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. The MBTA is proposing to outsource bus maintenance at 3 of its 9 garages, a practice which has been successful at regional transit authorities across the state. […]

Press Release: Pioneer Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of Plaintiffs in Boston Charter School Case

Joins with Black Alliance for Educational Options and Cheryl Brown Henderson to argue that case should be allowed to proceed to discovery BOSTON — Through its public interest law initiative PioneerLegal, Pioneer Institute has filed an amicus brief in an important case about public education that will be argued today before Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court […]

The Dignity of Liberty

Click the button below to download (may take extra time), or below that, scroll through the report in the Scribd viewer on this page. The Dignity of Liberty: Pioneer Institute’s 2016 Annual Report by Pioneer Institute on Scribd Our fiscal year ends on Saturday! Please make a tax-deductible contribution below.

Study: Ferry Service Could Provide Opportunity for MBTA Expansion without Huge Upfront Costs

Read press coverage of this report in the Boston Herald: Study suggests MBTA float ferry service expansion and Editorial: “Ferrying off to work“; The Boston Globe: “Look to the harbor to ease Boston’s transportation woes,” “Steady stream of studies fuel transportation debates,” and here; The Boston Business Journal: “Seaport ferry, funded by business, would be open to public“; and State […]

10 Days, 10 Reasons to Give

There are 10 days remaining before our fiscal year ends.  Here are 10 reasons why a contribution to Pioneer Institute is worth your investment: 1. Our documentary film exploring legal barriers to school choice will be released this fall and reach half a million viewers nationwide.  2. The state invested $50 million in vocational-technical school […]

Op-ed: Education focus, testing on history, civics critical to well-informed citizenry

By Tom Birmingham Read this op-ed as published in WGBH News, The Springfield Republican, The Berkshire Eagle, The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, The Lowell Sun, and The New Bedford Standard Times. BOSTON — Sunday marked the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, which is being celebrated today. Sadly, this is one of the […]

Creating Space for Healthcare Innovators in the Marketplace

Pioneer Institute’s initiatives in healthcare focus on three goals.  We promote price transparency, essential in containing costs and increasing access to care. We aim to put state programs like Medicaid on a more sustainable path and create flexibility so the programs provide higher-quality care and access to care, which too often outside greater Boston is […]

Op-ed: Mass. has tools to lead in online learning — but doesn’t

By Julie Young For two years running, Bloomberg’s State Innovation Index has hailed Massachusetts as the country’s most innovative state economy. Looking at such metrics as R&D; concentration of science, technology, engineering, and math employment; and numbers of science degrees, it’s no wonder that the commonwealth placed first. But it’s not just postsecondary education that […]

METCO’s 50th Anniversary Focuses Attention on Pioneer’s Call to Expand & Improve the Program

The recent 50th anniversary of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) has drawn attention to the program, which gives about 3,300 Boston and Springfield students the chance to attend high-performing suburban schools, and to findings from two Pioneer Institute studies about METCO. One of the Pioneer studies was cited in a lengthy feature on […]

PioneerLegal Signs onto Amicus Briefs Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Two Cases with Local Impact

Petitions would affect group of local educators challenging compulsory union payments BOSTON – Pioneer Institute, through its public interest law initiative PioneerLegal, has signed onto amicus briefs at the invitation of the Pacific Legal Foundation that support petitions for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear two cases that would have a direct impact on Massachusetts. […]

Public Statement: Pioneer Applauds MBTA Control Board For Seeking To Modernize Bus Maintenance

Pioneer applauds the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board’s long-overdue action to use a competitive bidding process to modernize bus maintenance services.  Seeking competitive bids on bus maintenance will likely produce cost savings and service improvement, as it has for the T’s money room and warehousing and logistics. The Institute further recognizes that there will […]

Study: Telemedicine Can Reduce Healthcare Costs, Improve Outcomes & Patient Satisfaction

Calls on Massachusetts to adopt telemedicine through the Group Insurance Commission, MassHealth and other state-run health programs BOSTON – Massachusetts should more aggressively embrace telemedicine, which can reduce healthcare costs, increase patient satisfaction, and is more convenient for both patients and physicians, according to “Dialing up Telemedicine,” a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “Until […]

Extended Summer Enrichment Programs Most Effective, Cost-Efficient

Part III of Pioneer Institute study series cites three approaches BOSTON – Massachusetts schools establishing summer enrichment programs to close the achievement gap between lower-income and higher-income students can have a greater impact by eventually expanding the program across multiple summers or for a full year, according to the last of a three-part series by […]

“A Source of Wonderful Ideas and Terrific Innovation”

“…yet another idea that came out of the Better Government Competition, in real-time, delivered by Pioneer Institute to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…This organization, this event, for years and years and years has been a source of wonderful ideas and terrific innovation, and I want to, on behalf of the Commonwealth, thank you for your leadership […]

Study: States Should Provide Parents With More Information About Homeschooling Options

Practice is growing rapidly; practitioners are becoming more diverse BOSTON – States should do more to acknowledge the viability of homeschooling as an educational option, and provide direction and information for parents seeking non-traditional schooling, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. “While homeschooling may not be the best choice for most families, […]

Aging, Technology Take Center Stage at 2017 Better Government Awards Gala

Last night, on an inspiring evening, against the backdrop of the beautiful Sail Boston parade of tall ships, Pioneer Institute held its annual Better Government Awards Gala. Longtime supporters and new friends gathered at the Boston Harbor Hotel to celebrate the country’s most innovative ideas to improve care for the aging, and leverage their skills in new […]

Pioneer Institute Announces Winner of 26th Annual Better Government Competition

MIT AgeLab Founder, Massachusetts Governor to Headline Awards Gala BOSTON – Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce that Boston-based Hebrew SeniorLife is the winner of the 26th annual Better Government Competition. The contest received nearly 100 entries from agencies and organizations across the U.S. on the topic, “Aging in America.” The winner, together with five […]

Study Explores Potential for Medical Voc-Tech Education in Catholic Schools

Programs could help stem enrollment declines, provide opportunity to disadvantaged students BOSTON – A new Pioneer Institute study explores whether medical vocational-technical education could be a tool to help area Catholic schools address declining enrollment and also provide economically disadvantaged students with the knowledge and skills that are in high demand among employers. “Some fear […]