Entries by Editorial Staff

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 […]

Proposition 80 Won’t Generate $1.9 Billion Annual Projected Revenue

Passage of November 2018 ballot measure will make Massachusetts far less competitive BOSTON – Passage of Proposition 80, the tax hike proposal scheduled to appear on the November 2018 Massachusetts ballot, will fail to generate the level of revenue growth projected by its backers, according to a new Pioneer study. The ballot measure would add […]

Proposition 80 Will Increase Out-Migration of High Earners and Businesses

Passage of November 2018 ballot measure would jeopardize Massachusetts’ long-term economic health BOSTON – Passage of Proposition 80, the tax hike proposal scheduled to appear on the November 2018 Massachusetts ballot, would accelerate migration out of Massachusetts, especially to Florida and New Hampshire, according to a new Pioneer study. Proposition 80 would add a 4 […]

Op-ed: Time to lift up Boston’s voc-tech high school

Read this full op-ed in CommonWealth magazine. By Tom Birmingham and Ken Campbell Years of missteps are leaving students behind “SUCCESS IS TO BE measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life,” said Booker T. Washington, the famous turn-of-the-20th-century black educator, “as by the obstacles… overcome.” February is both Black History and […]

Supreme Court Arguments in Compulsory Union Fee Case Set for Today

Outcome will affect similar petition pending before Massachusetts SJC Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case with important implications for Massachusetts in which an Illinois public employee is challenging the requirement that he pay an “agency fee” to a union as a condition of employment. Closer to home, a group of […]

Celebrating Black History Month

In the month of February, the nation honors the achievements of African Americans; their stories and historical accomplishments are worthy of recognition year round. That’s why Pioneer Institute has sponsored events, produced videos, and published opinion pieces informing the public about important leaders and key milestones in the African-American experience, as well as the need […]

Study: New Federal Tax Law Would Exacerbate Economic Damage of Prop 80

This report earned media coverage on WGBH radio, WBZ radio, and Fox 25 TV, Bloomberg radio; The Boston Globe, the Associated Press, MassLive/The Springfield Republican, Newburyport News, Gloucester Times, Salem News, Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, Greenfield Recorder, CommonWealth magazine, and The Lowell Sun. Cap on state and local tax deductions to hit Massachusetts hard BOSTON – Recent passage of […]

Pioneer Institute and the Tax Foundation File Amicus Brief in Graduated Income Tax Ballot Initiative Case

Brief argues that Proposition 80 violates the state constitution, would result in harmful fiscal policy BOSTON – PioneerLegal, Pioneer Institute’s public-interest law initiative, together with the Tax Foundation, has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Judicial Court in support of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and others, in the case Christopher Anderson et al. […]

Join Us on Catholic Schools Week for Special Film Screening Events

Join us as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, with special film screenings of our new documentary, “Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws,” at Boston College High School in Boston, MA on Monday, January 29th at 6:30pm; Marian High School in Framingham, MA on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30pm; and Bishop Connolly High […]

New Study Looks to Connecticut as Cautionary Tale for Impact of Proposed Ballot Initiative Hiking Taxes

Hear Greg Sullivan discuss this report on Bloomberg Radio. Raising taxes on companies and high earners has resulted in less revenue, exodus of large employers and wealthy individuals BOSTON – Proponents of a 2018 statewide ballot initiative that would add a surcharge on the state taxes of those earning over $1 million annually should look […]

New Study Urges MBTA to Expand Corporate Pass Program

Watch a video interview of the author on BNN News, and read coverage in the Boston Business Journal and The Boston Globe. More riders would boost T revenue, cut employee commuting costs, provide savings for employers, reduce traffic congestion and help the environment BOSTON – Increased use of employer-sponsored commuter benefit programs could boost MBTA revenue […]

New Documentary Highlights Impact of Bigoted “Blaine Amendments”

Read op-eds about the film, by Raymond Flynn, former Ambassador to the Holy See, and Pioneer’s Jamie Gass in The Daily Caller, The Lowell Sun, and the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. Constitutional amendments in 38 states born of anti-Catholic bigotry now harm families practicing wide range of faiths BOSTON – A new documentary film, “Big […]

Film Screenings at Area Catholic Schools to Educate Public about Barriers to School Choice

Constitutional amendments in 38 states born of anti-Catholic bigotry now harm families practicing wide range of faiths  BOSTON – Four area Catholic schools will hold public screenings of a new documentary film, “Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws,” to be released by Pioneer Institute during National School Choice Week, beginning January 21st, […]

Celebrating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday and School Choice

Today, we honor the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and work helped advance the American promise of equal opportunity for all. A key element of that promise is access to high-quality educational options. Pioneer Institute has held numerous public forums on Dr. King’s heroic legacy, and the continuing struggle […]