Entries by Editorial Staff

Steven Wilson on Charter Public Schools

Mr. Wilson delves into his extensive background, including his tenure at Pioneer Institute, his work with Governor Bill Weld, and his contributions to the landmark 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act. Steven shares insights into the high academic expectations and success of Boston’s charter schools, emphasizing the importance of recruiting and retaining quality teachers and principals.

Sheldon Novick on Henry James, American Women, & Gilded-Age Fiction

Mr. Novick discusses the complexities of Henry James’ life and writing career, highlighting his significant literary contributions, the influence of his family’s intellectual legacy, and the realistic portrayal of social tensions in his works. Novick explores Henry James’ life experiences that shaped his novels like The Portrait of a Lady and The Golden Bowl. 

Israeli Harvard Student Maya Shiloni on Campus Antisemitism


Albert: [00:00:00] Hello everyone again. This is Albert Chang from the University of Arkansas welcoming you to another episode of the Curve podcast. I’m real happy to be here with you guys and along with my co host this week, Alicia Searcy. Alicia, good to see you. Alisha: Good […]

Study Finds Supply Shortage at the Heart of Greater Boston Housing Crisis

Construction costs, land use regulation and zoning among the reasons why housing development lags growth in jobs, number of households BOSTON – A new Pioneer Institute study recommends that municipal leaders employ strategies like density bonuses and expedited permitting to prioritize the construction of family-oriented housing in urban areas to combat high prices and supply shortages resulting from decades of insufficient housing development. “Across the country, housing production has been low since the 2008 financial crisis,” said Andrew Mikula, author of “Supply Stagnation: The Root Cause of Greater Boston’s Housing Crisis and How to Fix It.”  “The housing crisis is especially acute in Boston because supply in the region never bounced back from the 1991 recession.” As of last November, […]

Kimberly Steadman of Edward Brooke on Boston’s Charter School Sector

Steadman reflects on her educational background and leadership in urban charter public schools. She discusses the importance of rigorous academic expectations for K-12 students, and how this outlook influences her educational philosophy co-directing the Brooke charter school network. Ms. Steadman shares the challenges faced by Massachusetts charters due to the post-2016 ballot loss, and how she and other charter public school leaders advance supportive policy reforms.

POLITICO’s Peter Canellos on Justice John Marshall Harlan & Plessy v. Ferguson

Mr. Canellos delves into Harlan’s upbringing in a prominent slaveholding family, his Civil War service in the Union Army, and his rapid rise in Kentucky politics as a Republican. He highlights John Harlan’s mixed-race half-brother Robert Harlan and key legal precedents like the notorious Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which influenced Harlan’s views on race and equality. 

Study: Expand Voc-Tech Seats, Don’t Require Lottery- Based Admissions

Bottom line is that demand for career vocational-technical education outstrips the supply. BOSTON – State policy makers should address an underlying access problem by expanding the number of seats in Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools rather than changing the schools’ admissions policies, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.  “The commonwealth should expand vocational-technical education to satisfy the demand,” said  David Ferreira, who co-authored “Hands Off Voc-Techs’ Success: Lottery-based admissions proposal is a mistake” with William Donovan. “Changing to a lottery system would only  rearrange who gets left out.”   There were more than 54,300 Massachusetts students in vocational-technical programs during the 2022-23 school year, over 9,500 more than a decade ago. But thanks to strong academic performance, low dropout […]

Colonel Peter Hayden on U.S. Cyber Command & National Security

General Counsel of U.S. Cyber Command, Colonel Pete Hayden, shares insights about growing up in western Massachusetts, attending law school, his military service, and emphasizes the legal aspects of his national security work. Col. Hayden discusses Cyber Command’s mission, distinguishing it from the NSA, while stressing the importance of defending the nation in cyberspace.

Study Finds Obstacles to Search for Opioid Substitute

Inflation Reduction Act price controls on the category of drugs that includes most non-opioid pain relievers reduce return on investment, disincentivize research funding BOSTON – By reducing return on investment for the category of drugs that includes most potential non-opioid pain relievers, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) creates a major disincentive to the development of therapies to combat the opioid epidemic that is ravaging the United States, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that pain medication research already has a higher attrition rate than research in other therapies.  A 2023 Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) study found that pain projects have only a o.7 percent probability of gaining FDA approval, compared […]

Annual Massachusetts Outmigration Hits 39,000, Up 1,100% Over The Last Decade: BU Study

Could rise to 96,000 per year by 2030, costing Massachusetts $19.2 billion in adjusted gross income & $961 million in income tax revenue   BOSTON (April 24, 2024) – Annual net outmigration from Massachusetts has soared by a stunning 1,100 percent to 39,000 people since 2013, according to a new Boston University Questrom School of Business study. If the trend continues, the researchers found, the state’s net outmigration could reach 96,000 by 2030. Outmigration cost Massachusetts $4.3 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI) and $213.7 million in tax revenue during the 2020-21 tax year. The majority of that money went to Florida ($1.77 billion), New Hampshire ($1.1 billion), and Maine ($393 million.) Those numbers could rise to $19.2 billion in […]

Superior Court Judge Invalidates “Equity Theft” Law as Unconstitutional

Decision brings Massachusetts into compliance with 2023 U.S. Supreme Court ruling SPRINGFIELD, MA –A Massachusetts Superior Court has ruled that a state law allowing municipalities (or private actors to whom municipalities sell the right to foreclose) to foreclose on homes due to property tax debt without having to pay the homeowner the difference between the taxes owed and the value of the home is unconstitutional as applied to the facts of the case at hand.   Ashley Mills was on the verge of losing her fully paid for Springfield home worth around $230,000 due to a $22,000 property tax debt.  On Mills behalf, the Pioneer Public Interest Law Center, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the law firms of Morgan Lewis and […]

Johns Hopkins’ Ashley Berner on Educational Pluralism & Democracy

Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Education Policy director, Dr. Ashley Berner discusses educational pluralism’s role in improving K-12 performance, exploring European models and the impact of U.S. school choice programs. Dr. Berner analyzes universal ESAs and vocational-technical schooling, addressing persistent academic struggles and civic knowledge gaps.

Pioneer Institute Statement on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ March Tax Revenue Collections

Pioneer Institute Statement on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ March Tax Revenue Collections: Preliminary March tax revenue collection numbers were released on Wednesday (4/3/24) by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). The Commonwealth took in $4.065 billion in total tax receipts for the month.  This figure is $129 million or 3.3% above the current monthly benchmark – the first time this fiscal year that actual revenues exceeded estimates. While the slight uptick is good news because it breaks an eight-month streak of declining revenues, let’s not queue up the confetti quite yet.  All major tax revenue categories other than withholding taxes are below estimates.  Withholding tax collections are likely buoyed by the worker shortage and higher salaries that workers can now […]

U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Hilary Crow on K-12 Civics Education

U.S. Chamber Foundation VP, Hilary Crow discusses the state of K-12 civics, emphasizing the Chamber Foundation’s role in addressing America’s wide civic education deficits. Crow highlights a recent national civics survey, alarming civic literacy gaps, and links between political unrest and our nation’s educational shortcomings in K-12 civics.