Pioneer Research

This policy brief urges Massachusetts policymakers to encourage the proliferation and progress of non-traditional models that offer families creative, flexible, personalized and low-cost private education options.
Immigrants have started a quarter of all businesses in Massachusetts despite making up just 17 percent of the state workforce, and those establishments appear to be more innovative than those founded by native-born Americans. Despite these contributions, shrinking federal visa caps and red tape are among the factors making it more difficult for immigrants to come to the U.S.
Sixty-two percent of Massachusetts residents support restoring passage of a U.S. history test as a public high school graduation requirement, according to a poll of Massachusetts residents’ attitudes toward education policy commissioned by Pioneer Institute and conducted by the Emerson College Polling Center.
A 2019 federal law requires hospitals to make prices for 300 shoppable services available online in a “consumer-friendly format,” but a Pioneer Institute survey of 19 hospitals finds that information on discounted cash prices—the price most likely to be charged to consumers paying out of pocket—was unavailable at seven of those hospitals.
After Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court declared an initiative that was to appear on the November ballot unconstitutional, the issue of how to classify app-based rideshare/delivery workers is back in the hands of the state Legislature.  A new study published by Pioneer Institute distills from the research literature eight questions legislators must answer before determining how to address this fast-growing industry.
This report focuses highlights turnarounds at two Massachusetts schools, Worcester Technical High School and the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy in Springfield, that were once known for high dropout rates and low graduation rates. The report shows that these schools now excel due to new leadership, community investment, and committed teachers. The report analyzes how Worcester Tech and Putnam Academy — schools with high numbers of low-income and special needs students — leapt from the bottom of Massachusetts voc-tech rankings to become leaders among local schools. The Pioneer paper includes interviews with administrators and presents several recommendations that could help transform struggling voc-tech schools.
This new report — “Replicating the Massachusetts Model of Vocational-Technical Education” — is a toolkit that can empower state leaders to transform their vocational-technical schools for the better. It builds on “Hands-On Achievement,” a book detailing the Massachusetts model that Pioneer published earlier this year.
This study illustrates why issuing pension obligation bonds (POBs) to refinance $360 million of the MBTA Retirement Fund’s (MBTARF’s) $1.3 billion unfunded pension liability would only compound the T’s already serious financial risks.
The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, or METCO program, has successfully educated thousands of students for 56 years, but several minor changes could make it even better, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.
If adopted, a constitutional amendment to hike state taxes that will appear on the ballot in November could erase the hard-earned progress Massachusetts has achieved toward economic competitiveness over the last 25 years and may not result in any additional education and transportation funding, according to a new book from Pioneer Institute, entitled Back to Taxachusetts?: How the proposed tax amendment would upend one of the nation’s best economies, which is a distillation of two dozen academic studies.