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.

Voc-tech schools thriving despite pandemic strictures

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HANDS-ON EDUCATION plays a critical role at Massachusetts regional vocational-technical high schools, where students alternate weekly between academics and shop classes. Given that reality, you’d think the schools would be particularly hard hit by the switch to hybrid models under which students are in a physical school building only half the time. But thanks to innovative approaches to coping with pandemic-related restrictions, voc-techs are successfully bucking statewide public-school enrollment trends.

Education tax credits don’t cost taxpayers a cent

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This op-ed has appeared in WGBH News, The Providence Journal,…

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.

Targeted government help for small business is needed

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Covid-19 will frame economic policy discussions for years to come, just as the Great Recession did a decade ago. The economic impact of the pandemic includes widespread job losses, and millions of Americans are at risk of falling into poverty. Covid-19 is also accelerating pre-existing market trends – such as automation and online shopping – and their potentially devastating impact on the thousands of small businesses vulnerable to these market shifts. Will these businesses be able to adapt?

MCAS testing essential to address falling test scores

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Amid the chaos that was created by schools suddenly being shuttered in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it made sense to cancel administration of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) tests. But supporters of pending legislation that would place a four-year moratorium on using MCAS as a high school graduation requirement and create a commission to study alternatives to the tests are no longer responding to a crisis; they are using it to advance their anti-reform agenda.

During construction, the Allston Mass. Pike project must address commuters’ needs

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As part of the state’s $1 billion reconfiguration of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Allston, Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack recently announced that a narrow strip of land known as “the throat,” will be considered for an at-grade option in addition to a proposal to rebuild the highway viaduct by Boston University.

Executive branch overreach, blanket orders having harmful effects

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At the outset of the pandemic, limited knowledge and the need to mitigate risk understandably led to political overreach. At this point in the disaster response, though, we are far better at distinguishing fact from fiction and policies that have worked from those that have not.

When ignorance and violence are permitted to trump justice

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This week marks the 65th anniversary of the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year old black boy from Chicago who was killed by two white Mississippians for whistling in the presence of a white woman.

Should the federal government provide free, universal child care?

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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.

Education tax credit programs extend choice to families who can’t afford private schools or to move to a tony community

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Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Espinoza ruling, many more students can reap the benefits of school choice

The Virtual Lessons Catholic Schools Can Teach

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This op-ed originally appeared in The Boston Pilot. By Tom…

Sensible police reform includes changing ‘qualified immunity’ laws

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Even in a time of painful divisions in our country, there is little doubt among people of good faith that what Derek Chauvin and three other former Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd was criminal. If they are indeed convicted of a felony, how is it that the former officers could very well be immune from civil liability?

Combatting COVID-19: Life in the MGH Emergency Room

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Join host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Senior Fellow Josh Archambault as they talk with Dr. David King about the experience of being in emergent care during a pandemic and lockdown. They explore the challenges of coping with a poorly understood virus during a lockdown, all while continuing to serve the sick.

Easthampton High Scores A National Educational Victory During The COVID-19 Pandemic

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This spring, Massachusetts’ Easthampton High School was crowned national champion in the “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” contest. The competition brings together about 1,200 students from across the country to answer civics questions based on America’s Founding Documents including the U.S. Constitution; The Federalist Papers; and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

Mass. schools must recommit to knowledge-based curriculum

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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.

In The Era Of COVID-19, Mass. Needs To Get Long-Term Care Right

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This op-ed originally appeared in WGBH News. In much of the…

Students still need to learn during the coronavirus pandemic

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This op-ed appeared in The Boston Globe on March 31, 2020. State…

Congress should fix aid, provide block grants

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This op-ed by Greg Sullivan and Charlie Chieppo appeared in the…

Why Are We So Scared And Impatient?

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This op-ed by Barbara Anthony appeared in WGBH News on March…

Baker needs to expand telehealth further

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This op-ed appeared in Commonwealth magazine on March 25th, 2020. Coronavirus…

Don’t mess with success of voc-tech high schools

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For more than 25 years, Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools have done everything state officials have asked of them. Instead of moving the goal posts by compelling them to switch to a lottery system, we should expand the schools. 

Employers should offer commuter benefits to employees

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There is no single solution to solve our traffic congestion crisis, but offering employees commuter benefits programs, which bring economic and environmental benefits, among others, can help.

Dynamic pricing for the Expressway

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By Jim Stergios & Conrad Crawford Published in The Boston…

When The Commonwealth Pays The Education Bill, It Should Get A School Committee Say

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Local education officials were up in arms earlier this year when Pioneer Institute proposed giving the Commonwealth the power to appoint some school committee seats in urban districts that are mostly state-funded. It would be hard to imagine a better example of why we need to adopt that reform than the current mess in Fall River.

Education business ruled by teachers’ unions truly terrifying

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This op-ed originally appeared in The Worcester Telegram &…

An easy transportation fix? Commuter benefits

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This op-ed appeared in The Boston Business Journal on October…

Dimming the state’s literary light

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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.

Tackling equity at Boston’s exam schools

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By Jim Stergios August 2, 2019 This spring, The New York Times…

Melville readies students for rough seas ahead

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Read this op-ed in The Berkshire Eagle, The Salem News, and The…