“Architecture is Frozen Music” Great Massachusetts Buildings – 25 Resources for K-12 Education

/
Understanding enduring public and private architecture is a key way to learn about art, ideas, and how they harmonize with our democracy. Yet, Massachusetts buildings are often never discussed in K-12 education. We’re offering a variety of links about outstanding houses and architecture across the Bay State for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to enjoy, visit, and better appreciate, including:

More information about historic Massachusetts buildings

/
Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA   House of the Seven…

More Information about the Memorials and Monuments

/
The Sacred Cod of Massachusetts, State House, Boston, MA Massasoit…

Michelle Rhee, Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools, on Leading Urban District Reform & the COVID-19 Moment

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and guest co-host Kerry McDonald are joined by Michelle Rhee, founder and former CEO of StudentsFirst and prior to that, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). 

“Every Child is an Artist…” - 15 Resources for K-12 Art Education

/
In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Introducing K-12 schoolchildren to great works of art.

“Music is liquid architecture” - 15 Resources for K-12 Education

/
In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this entry focuses on introducing K-12 schoolchildren to timeless music.

Should the federal government provide free, universal child care?

/
Free, universal child care provided by the federal government would be contrary to the spirit of the Founders’ view of K-12 education as the constitutional domain of state and local governments.

The 65th Anniversary of the Murder of Emmett Till: 6 Key Resources for K-12 Education

Continuing Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this post focuses on the 65th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till, which is August 28, 2020.

"Call Me Ishmael" Melville Scholar Prof. Hershel Parker on Moby-Dick & Classic Literature

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and guest co-host Kerry McDonald, senior education fellow with the Foundation for Economic Education, are joined by Hershel Parker, the H. Fletcher Brown professor emeritus at the University of Delaware and the definitive biographer of the 19th-century American novelist, Herman Melville.

Let's Be There For Students

As we head into the new academic year, unsure if remote learning will continue, we must equip our teachers to ensure that all students are offered the consistent, structured, rigorous, and supportive instructional programs that they need to succeed. This video highlights two schools that have successfully transitioned to remote learning.

New Pioneer Study Looks to International Examples to Inform Massachusetts K-12 Schools Reopening

With the fall semester fast approaching, Massachusetts should provide more specific COVID-19-related guidance for school districts about ramping up remote learning infrastructure; rotating in-person cohort schedules; diversifying methods of communication between students, parents, and teachers; and investigating physical distancing capabilities.  Districts must determine whether to adopt in-person, remote, or hybrid schooling options, and they will not be ready for the fall unless the state provides clear direction, according to new analysis from Pioneer Institute.

Pandemic, Lost Instructional Time Reveal Massachusetts’ Digital Learning Weaknesses

A report released today by Pioneer Institute says that the shutdown of Massachusetts schools due to the COVID-19 virus and the shift to online education have exposed the uneven nature of digital learning in the Commonwealth, and calls for state officials to develop programs to create more consistency.

MA Commissioner Jeff Riley on Remote Learning, Voc-Techs, & Reforming Boston’s Schools

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard open with commentary on the George Floyd tragedy and K-12 education’s role in addressing racial injustice. Then, they are joined by Jeffrey Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, to talk about the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Mass. schools must recommit to knowledge-based curriculum

/
The Bay State’s leadership role has continued into the current century. Massachusetts made tremendous strides in the years following passage of a landmark 1993 education reform law. But it has been backsliding since 2010, when it adopted weaker English and math standards known as Common Core. To get back on track, Massachusetts must reform its school- and district-level curriculum to emphasize imparting a shared body of background knowledge and social commitment to students in all ZIP codes.

Acclaimed Poet & Former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia on Poetry & Arts Education

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dana Gioia, a poet, writer, and the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, to talk about why the arts are so pivotal to the intellectual and civic development of America’s K-12 schoolchildren.

Study: Officials Must Address Basic Questions to Improve Public School Computer Science Education

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has further transitioned education towards electronic devices, computer science education in K-12 public schools around the country faces a number of daunting challenges, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

“Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction”: 8 K-12 Science Resources During COVID-19

/
The fourth in Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19 focuses on science education.

Kaya Henderson, Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools, on Leading Urban District Reform

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are happy to be joined by Kaya Henderson, the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. They discuss the historic reforms Henderson oversaw, including increasing enrollment and improved test scores in an urban district that had been one of the lowest performing in the country.

California's Common Core Apologia

/
In a recent blog, Dr. Michael Kirst, past president of the California State Board of Education, attempts to defend his record of Common Core implementation during that period. But policy experts Ze’ev Wurman & Williamson Evers set the Golden State's record during Common Core straight.

To Read or Not to Read Shakespeare? 12 Great Ways to Get to Know The Bard During COVID-19

/
With school closures impacting 50 million children across America, and a challenging transition to remote learning,  many parents are seeking supplementary material to enrich their children's academic experience during COVID-19.  Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available to introduce children of all ages to, arguably, the greatest literary figure in the English-speaking world, William Shakespeare.

Study Finds Historic Drop in National Reading and Math Scores Since Adoption of Common Core Curriculum Standards

New study shows that, breaking with decades of slow improvement, U.S. reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and other assessments have seen historic declines since most states implemented national Common Core English and math curriculum standards six years ago.

New Brief Calls on the USED for School Closure Guidelines During COVID-19

Pioneer calls on the federal government to quickly release a single report identifying which federal laws - and which aspects of those laws - are relevant to the topic of school closure during the COVID pandemic, and providing concrete guidance on how schools can comply in the coming weeks.

7 Tools to Keep Your Child Engaged in Math During COVID-19

/
Proven resources that every parent can and should make use of now and well beyond COVID-19.

5 Book Series Parents Can Explore During COVID-19 School Closings

/
Looking for quality literature and books to share with your children while we’re all at home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19? Here are some excellent options that will nurture a love for great classic literature and enduring historical figures:

This Week on The Learning Curve: E.D. Hirsch, Jr. on Background Knowledge & Educational Equity

/
This week on "The Learning Curve," Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr., founder and chairman of the Core Knowledge Foundation, professor emeritus at UVA, and acclaimed author, discusses a critical ingredient of academic achievement, the shared background knowledge needed for language proficiency and cultural literacy.

Dimming the state’s literary light

/
September marks Johnson’s 310th birthday. His A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) used 114,000 timeless quotations to help define 42,000 words, making it among the most famous dictionaries in human history.

Study Calls for Tying Additional State Education Aid to Reforms

Narrowing funding gap between high-income and less affluent districts…

New Study Finds Multiple Problems with Push for Social-Emotional Learning in K-12 Education

Little research evidence for, or objective, reliable way to measure…

New Study Warns of Emergence of Two-Tiered Public Education System in Massachusetts

Contact Jamie Gass, 617-723-2277 ext. 210 or jgass@pioneerinstitute.org Overall…

Study: New Massachusetts Science Standards Inferior To Their Predecessors

As a result of ignoring input from a distinguished national expert, Massachusetts’ Next Generation Science Standards adopted last spring by the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) fall short.