Entries by Editorial Staff

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 […]

Op-ed: American Public Education Is Failing Miserably In Math And Science

By Jamie Gass and Ze’ev Wurman This op-ed appeared in The Daily Caller and The New Bedford Standard Times. “If I have seen further,” declared the great 17th-century English scientist Sir Isaac Newton, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This season marks Newton’s 373th birthday, and his humility before renowned thinkers — Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Descartes — set […]

Announcing Pioneer Institute’s 2018 Better Government Competition Topic: “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 […]

12 Reasons to Give to Pioneer Before Midnight

With the New Year fast approaching, here are 12 reasons to donate to Pioneer before the clock strikes 12:00 and ushers in 2018: In January, the Institute begins its national release of the documentary film, Big Sacrifices, Big Dreams: Ending America’s Bigoted Education Laws, which recounts the shameful history behind opposition to school choice and the […]

Op-ed: A Novel Solution To An Old Problem

By Tom Birmingham  | The Boston Pilot  |  December 15, 2017 We are all shaped by our own experiences. When it comes to education, I spent nine years in Chelsea public schools, followed by high school at Austin Prep, an Augustinian Catholic school north of Boston. St. Augustine’s dictum from his Confessions, “Tolle, lege,” “Take […]

Report: Economic Freedom Up Slightly Across U.S.

Massachusetts ranks 13th in North American index BOSTON – Massachusetts ranks 13th out of all 50 states in this year’s Economic Freedom of North America report, released today by the Pioneer Institute in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. “Massachusetts has real competitive advantages over other states – a top-rate education system, talent across financial services, […]

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

Check out news coverage: “Report warns of falling test scores” (Salem News, Newburyport Daily News, Gloucester Times); Bloomberg Bay State; Accuracy in Academia; The Lowell Sun; The Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise; RealClearEducation. The Lowell Sun published an op-ed as well, here. Both 2010 and 2017 standards demonstrably inferior to state’s pre-2010 academic standards BOSTON – The 2017 […]

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 […]

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 […]