THE PIONEER BLOG

Prof. Raymond Arsenault on the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides & Civil Rights

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Raymond Arsenault, the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, and author of several acclaimed and prize-winning books on civil rights, including Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. He shares how he became interested in researching, writing, and teaching about the Civil Rights Movement.

Match Charter Public School Founder Mike Goldstein on School & Teacher Prep Reform

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Mike Goldstein, the founder of the MATCH Charter School and MATCH Teacher Residency in Boston.

Jim Stergios on Why Immigrants Are Crucial to Our Success

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Jim Stergios, executive director of Pioneer Institute, about why Pioneer collaborated with The Immigrant Learning Center to produce this podcast. They discuss the overrepresentation of immigrants in terms of job creation in America, contrary to the myth that immigrants “take” jobs.

ASU’s Julie Young, Virtual Schooling Pioneer, on Digital Learning during COVID-19

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal talks with Julie Young, ASU Vice President of Education Outreach and Student Services, and Managing Director of ASU Prep Academy and ASU Prep Digital. They discuss the implications of COVID-19’s disruption of American K-12 education and the future of digital learning.

UChicago’s Dr. Leon Kass on Genesis, Exodus, & Reading Great Books

This week on “The Learning Curve,” guest co-host Jason Bedrick and co-host Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Leon Kass, MD, the Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago. Dr. Kass describes the important pieces of wisdom and humanity people today can still learn from reading the Book of Genesis, the topic of his 2003 work, The Beginning of Wisdom.

Enduring the Maelstrom: Lessons from MassPort Leadership During 9/11

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with author and former MassPort CEO Virginia Buckingham about her recently released book, On My Watch: A Memoir, which chronicles her experience leading the organization through 9/11 and the life and leadership lessons learned from that tragic day.

Unemployment Claims in New England: Who receives the most in unemployment benefits?

Unemployment is a hot topic only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Perusing the Pioneer Institute’s MA IRS DataDiscovery database reveals many interesting trends about unemployment benefits in New England.  In 2018, MA gave out over $1.11 billion in unemployment benefits, more than double the amount given in CT, the state with the second-highest dollar amount of unemployment. Benefits given in RI, ME, VT and NH are also a small percentage of the benefits given in CT. This is unsurprising, given MA, CT and RI have the highest maximum weekly benefit in New England. Benefits are calculated similarly across all the six states: wages are averaged over a base period, which is usually two to three of the quarters in which […]

MA Decline in Manufacturing Employment: Causes and Consequences

Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on employment levels across all industries, with the shutdowns of Spring 2020 forcing people out of work and enhanced unemployment benefits providing a disincentive to go back. However, as easy as it is to blame the increased unemployment benefits for declining employment levels, there’s one industry in MA whose employment rates have been declining for years before COVID. Using the Pioneer Institute’s MassEconomix Database, it’s clear that the number of manufacturing jobs has been falling consistently since at least the early 2000s.  The US signed NAFTA  in 1993, effectively eliminating trade barriers among Mexico, the US, and Canada. Although advertised as a means to expand trade and lower tariffs that would decrease […]

Valhalla Foundation’s Nancy Poon Lue on STEM Access & Equity

This week on “The Learning Curve,” host Gerard Robinson talks with Nancy Poon Lue, incoming Senior Director at the Valhalla Foundation, where she will be leading their K-12 math funding initiatives. Nancy shares her recent work with the EF+Math Program, some of the challenges America has faced in ensuring students have a strong grounding in math and science, and the kinds of results she aims to achieve for kids in all ZIP codes. 

UVA Prof. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. on Core Knowledge, Equity, & Educating Citizens

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia, and acclaimed author of the books, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know and How to Educate a Citizen: The Power of Shared Knowledge to Unify a Nation.

“Key of the Gulf” – Exploring Cuba – 35 Resources for Parents & Students

Castro’s despotism, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Embargo, remains the Cuban people – vibrant, creative, pious, and poor, who have continued to inspire and awe with their smiles, culture, music, dance, food, tobacco, resilience, and hopes. With the desire of passing along some of this magic to American families, students, teachers, and schools, we’re providing a variety of resources to educate our people about their neighbors, who live a mere 100 miles from our shores, in Cuba.

Green energy job growth in Massachusetts following New Climate Change report published by the United Nations

On August 9, 2021, the United Nations Climate Change Panel published one of the most comprehensive climate change assessments to date, which called for worldwide action and reform regarding waste, consumption, and fuel usage. The report stated, “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.”    According to this article by Reuters, the primary problems the report identified were rising temperatures, extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, longer and more intense seasons, gradual sea level rise, and lower ice levels in the arctic. Most importantly, the report claimed that humanity is running out of time to turn the situation around.   However, there is controversy over the report. Many reputable news sources are claiming […]

Human Rights Advocate Kristina Arriaga on Cuba, Religious Liberty, & Cancel Culture

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Kristina Arriaga, president of Intrinsic, a strategic communications firm, and former vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Kristina shares her family’s experiences fleeing Castro’s communist regime in Cuba and other hardships, and how her background has shaped her commitment to religious liberty.

MBTA Ridership Trends Compared to Public Transportation Agencies Nationwide

The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on our economy, and Greater Boston’s transit agency — the MBTA — also took a hit. Using Pioneer Institute’s MBTA Analysis Database, one can compare MBTA ridership trends to those of other U.S. public transportation agencies.   Table 1: Bus, Unlinked Passenger Trips Agency 2019 2020 2021 to Date Chicago Transit Authority 21,144,867 6,822,850 9,197,725 City and County of San Francisco 9,502,636 2,566,978 3,725,217 County of Miami-Dade 4,122,990 1,643,751 3,199,822 Dallas Area Rapid Transit 3,276,271 1,637,090 1,680,878 Denver Regional Transportation District 4,074,112 1,370,794 1,643,250 King County Department of Metro Transit 9,280,947 2,607,899 3,331,400 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 22,668,594 8,490,691 13,271,318 Maryland Transit Administration 5,821,031 2,524,203 2,861,492 Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 8,728,580 […]

The Globe’s Ornaments – Celebrating the Great Cities of the Ages – 35 Resources for Parents & Students

Celebrating the Great Cities of the Ages – This is part of Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, teachers, and students during COVID-19.