THE PIONEER BLOG

How do employment trends differ between urban and rural Massachusetts from 1999-2019?

To better understand these statistics, data available on employment across Massachusetts counties is helpful. This blog will investigate the employment trends in Franklin and Middlesex Counties from 1999-2019.

Urban Cyclist Fatalities: Improving the Safety of Our Commuters

Pioneer set out to compare fatality data, miles of bike lanes, and cyclist commuter statistics in the five largest cities in the Northeast to develop recommendations for what urban areas can do to improve dangerous riding conditions. 

Valuing Life-Saving Drugs: What is the Price of Life and Who Decides?

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute visiting fellow Dr. Bill Smith about Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) standards, and the ways in which so-called objective cost-containing strategies use expert opinion to determine the value of a life and thereby disadvantage the elderly, disabled, and those with less common vulnerabilities to disease.

Putting in the Extra Hours: The Spike in Mass. Department of Public Health Overtime Pay during COVID-19

During the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) payroll data presented a 29.09% increase in the average employee’s overtime pay from the previous year. Pioneer wanted to dig deeper into the Department’s compensation trends to put the $5M bump in 2020 DPH overtime pay into perspective.

Rafe Esquith on Teaching Shakespeare to Inner-City LA Students

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Rafe Esquith, an award-winning teacher at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles, and the founder of The Hobart Shakespeareans, who annually stage performances of unabridged plays by William Shakespeare. He shares why he founded the award-winning program to teach disadvantaged Los Angeles elementary school students a classical humanities curriculum, the most inspiring experiences and the biggest challenges of teaching highly demanding literary works to young schoolchildren from diverse backgrounds.

Larry O’Toole on Workplace Culture & Immigration Policy

On this week’s episode of JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks to Larry O’Toole, founder of the multi-state Gentle Giant Moving Company that started in 1980 right here in the Boston area. They discuss Mr. O’Toole’s journey at a young age from Ireland to Brookline, Mass., the challenges of being uprooted, and the ability to thrive despite barriers such as skills gaps, that many immigrants face.

“The Road to the Stars” – U.S. Space Exploration – 25 Resources for K-12 Students

In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Celebrating U.S. Space Exploration.

Talking Out Of School: Supreme Court Considers Campus Boundaries Within Social Media Universe

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with constitutional scholar and CATO Institute Research Fellow Thomas Berry about the recently heard U.S. Supreme Court case, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., and its implications for free speech, school control, and the integration of social media into the rubric of first amendment protections.

Massachusetts Should Disclose More Information about Its Recent Reduction in the Official Count of Long-term Care Deaths

The public — particularly in Massachusetts, where COVID-19’s toll on elders has been so great — has a right to know how many deaths occurred in state-regulated eldercare facilities, and how that compares to the total number of deaths. But the state’s new counting standard clouds this information, and should be corrected or at least disclosed.

Sandro Catanzaro Takes His American Dream to Mars and Back

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Sandro Catanzaro, who started several businesses in his native Peru but had no idea he’d end up helping NASA go to Mars, or that he’d use that same technology to plan and buy video ad campaigns. Now Head of Publisher Services Strategy for Roku, which acquired the company he founded, dataxu, in 2019, Mr. Catanzaro is an emblem of ingenuity and inventiveness. His demand-side platform, device graph technology and analytics platform help accelerate Roku’s ad tech roadmap and ability to serve a wide array of advertisers. But he’s not done yet!

Doctor Heal Thyself: Insider’s Prescription For Healthcare Reform

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with surgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Marty Makary about the healthcare reform themes in The Price We Pay, the 2020 Business Book of the Year.  The discussion covers the value of price transparency, provider accountability, and performance information to drive better medical outcomes and improve doctor and patient satisfaction.

Travesty of Justice: Massachusetts Drug War Collapses on Lab Scandal

Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute senior legal fellow Jim McKenna about Massachusetts’ drug prosecution cases resting on evidence produced by badly mismanaged drug testing labs, and the implications for potentially hundreds of thousands convicted on erroneous, tainted, or fabricated evidence.

Struggling For Sunshine: Transparency’s Power To Keep Leaders Accountable

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Mary Z. Connaughton about the value of transparency and Pioneer’s extensive work to provide greater access to legislative and policy information to hold elected officials accountable and build trust in our state government. Read Pioneer Institute’s Sunshine Week Transparency Resolutions.

UK Classics Scholar Kathryn Tempest on Cicero, Brutus, & the Death of Caesar

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Kathryn Tempest, a Reader in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Roehampton in London, UK, and author of Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome and Brutus: The Noble Conspirator. They discuss the historical, civic, and moral lessons political leaders, educators, and schoolchildren today can learn by studying the Roman Republic and the lives of key figures from that era such as Cicero and Brutus.

Pioneer Institute’s 2021 Government Transparency Resolutions: Sunshine Week Edition

As it does each year, Pioneer shares the resolutions it hopes state leaders will adopt to bring government actions into better focus and invigorate our democracy with heightened public engagement. As the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis noted, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”