Pulitzer Winner Taylor Branch on MLK, Civil Rights History, & Race in America

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This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard are joined by Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a landmark trilogy on the Civil Rights era, America in the King Years. They discuss the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, whose birthday the nation observed on Monday. They review Dr. King’s powerful, moving oratory, drawing on spiritual and civic ideals to promote nonviolent protest against racial injustice, and how, as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he shared leadership of the movement with organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

California Tax Experiment: Policy Makers Receive Valuable Economics Lesson

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Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Stanford University Economics Professor Joshua Rauh about his research on the reaction of Californians to a tax increase, from his report, “The Behavioral Response to State Income Taxation of High Earners, Evidence from California.” Prof. Rauh shares how his research offers tax policy makers insight into the likely effects of similar increases in their own states, including here in Massachusetts.

New Study Finds Tax Policy Drives Connecticut’s Ongoing Fiscal & Economic Crisis

Multiple rounds of tax increases aimed at high earners and corporations triggered an exodus from Connecticut of large employers and wealthy individuals, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Ignat Solzhenitsyn on His Father’s Nobel Prize-Winning Fight with Communism

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This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard talk with Ignat Solzhenitsyn, a pianist, conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and son of the Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. They discuss his father’s legacy, his courageous work to debunk the Soviet Union’s utopian myths, and key lessons American educators and students should draw from his life, writings, and battle with Soviet communism.

Social Unrest Network: The Disruptive Power of Information For Leadership

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Joe Selvaggi talks with Martin Gurri, former CIA analyst and author of Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium, about the wave of populism sparked by the disruptive force of the internet from Occupy to riots on Capitol Hill. Mr. Gurri shares his views on the connection between massive, broad information consumption and the new view toward elites.

There is a different path…

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We all watched with horror at the riots in the nation’s capital.…

Eva Moskowitz of Success Academy on Charter Schools, Achievement Gaps, & COVID-19 Learning Loss

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This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and Gerard kick off the new year with Eva Moskowitz, CEO & Founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, a network of 47 schools enrolling 20,000 K-12 students in New York City. Eva shares her own education path, and how it influences her leadership and philosophy.

Unemployment Insurance Rescue: Employer Advocate Seeks Relief to Catalyze Pandemic Recovery

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Joe Selvaggi talks with John Regan, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, about the impact of higher UI rates on employers and what legislators can do to help mitigate the pain.

Happy New Year from Pioneer Institute

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We hope you are taking time to celebrate and find peace during this season. Thank you for your support for Pioneer, which has helped us stay focused on steering the state’s debate on the pandemic response, and making progress on our key policy objectives. Here’s to a great 2021 for Massachusetts and the country.

Happy Holidays from Pioneer Institute!

Wishing you and your loved ones a season filled with peace, love and joy! 

USED Asst. Sec. Jim Blew Talks Sec. DeVos, School Choice, & K-12 Politics

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Jim Blew, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy development at the U.S. Department of Education. Assistant Secretary Blew shares lessons from leading and implementing K-12 public education reform efforts in often contentious policy environments, and the unique challenges of the current partisanship and gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Police Reform Law: Finding Balance While Seeking Justice

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Join Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis who shares his views on the features and controversies of the police reform bill on Beacon Hill.

New Study Provides Toolkit for Crafting Education Tax-Credit Scholarship Programs

In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key impediment to private school choice, Pioneer Institute has published a toolkit for designing tax-credit scholarship programs. Now available in 18 states, nearly 300,000 students nationwide use tax-credit scholarships to attend the school of their family’s choice. TCS policies create an incentive for taxpayers to contribute to nonprofit scholarship organizations that aid families with tuition and, in some states, other K–12 educational expenses. This paper explores the central design features of TCS policies—such as eligibility, the tax credit value, credit caps, and academic accountability provisions—and outlines the different approaches taken by the TCS policies in each state.

Oxford & UCLA Pulitzer Winner Prof. Daniel Walker Howe on Horace Mann, Common Schools, & Educating for Democracy

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Daniel Walker Howe, Rhodes Professor of American History Emeritus at Oxford University in England and Professor of History Emeritus at UCLA. Drawing from his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, he provides background information on Horace Mann, the first secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, founder of the common school movement in public education, and a prominent abolitionist in Congress.

COVID-19 Vaccine: The End of the Epidemic is Within Reach

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Join Host Joe Selvaggi and Virologist and Investor Dr. Peter Kolchinsky as they discuss the rapid development, efficacy, and rollout of the newly approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Knowledge is Power: Sir Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method – 10 Resources for High School Students

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In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs here, on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of Sir Francis Bacon and the scientific method.

Stanford’s Prof. Caroline Hoxby on Charter Schools, K-12 Ed Reform, & Global Competitiveness

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Caroline Hoxby, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution.

Massachusetts is in the middle of a budget crisis. So why is it still subsidizing out-of-state horse owners?

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In 2021, the Massachusetts legislature will consider raising…

Thank Think Tanks: Finding Trustworthy Information in a Partisan Era

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Join Host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute’s executive director Jim Stergios as they discuss think tanks, their role in policy formation, and how they preserve trust and their integrity through independent, mission-guided research.

Pioneer recognizes students’ thoughtful approach to stadium financing, adjacent redevelopment in Worcester

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Even as the construction of Polar Park, a new minor league baseball…

The 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower – 15 Resources for K-12 Students

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In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage.

SABIS® President Carl Bistany on International Education, Charter Public Schools, & At-Risk Students

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Carl Bistany, the president of SABIS® Educational Systems, an education company founded over 130 years ago that serves young women in the Middle East, and poor and minority students in the U.S.

MBTA Cuts Ahead: COVID Causes Commuters To Consider Comprehensive Changes

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Host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Charlie Chieppo discuss the reasons for the recently proposed cuts to MBTA service, and offer suggestions as to how the agency’s leadership could use this crisis to improve the service’s long-term health.

Pioneer Institute Welcomes New Board Members

Pioneer Institute is delighted to welcome Sara Johnson and Andrew Davis to our Board of Directors. Their respective backgrounds in business development and the assessment of business opportunities, and enthusiastic support of Pioneer's mission will be crucial to the success of the Institute’s ambitious Pioneer2024 strategic plan.

Pioneer Report Spotlights Decade-long Building Boom in Massachusetts Construction Industry

In the lead-up to the COVID-19 crisis, the Massachusetts construction industry enjoyed a boom in select subsectors, though employment numbers had yet to recover from the setbacks of the Great Recession, according to a new report from Pioneer Institute that draws data from the MassEconomix web tool.

Contracting with private providers could avert MBTA cuts

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In response to a collapse in MBTA service in the winter of 2015, the newly formed Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) set the authority on a course of bold reforms. The COVID-19 pandemic is once again presenting new and significant challenges to T leadership that require a rethinking of how service is delivered to stave off painful service cuts.

Pioneer Institute Statement on MBTA Service Cuts

Even as MBTA ridership and revenue have been gutted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the system remains a lifeline for so many residents in the Greater Boston area, especially those working in essential services like health care or in industries most impacted by the pandemic such as the restaurant sector.  Facing a crisis of this magnitude, T leadership must first do its all to rethink how it delivers services before reflexively making cuts.

A Bold New Agenda: Introducing Pioneer’s New Board Chair Adam Portnoy

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Pioneer Institute's new Chair of our Board of Directors, Adam Portnoy, President and CEO of The RMR Group, shares thoughts on what inspired him to become more involved in Pioneer's work, highlighting the Institute's data-driven, forward-focused approach to advancing policy solutions and creating more opportunities for all. He also offers his vision for the future, building our community of supporters and increasing our public interest law activities to strengthen our policy impact.

Pioneer Checklist Includes Steps for Policy Makers, Business Owners to Revitalize Hardest-Hit Industries

Combining the recommendations of studies published earlier this year, Pioneer Institute has released “A Checklist for How to Revitalize the Industries Hit Hardest by COVID-19.” The recommendations for policy makers are organized in three sections: Immediate Relief, Tax Policy Changes and Permanent Reforms.  Business owner recommendations are split into COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols, Expanded Services and Steps to Improve Cash Flow.