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Electronic government—the far-reaching potential of the Internet to improve government services and enhance citizen outreach—was explored at a recent Pioneer Forum. Speakers were Massachusetts Secretary for Administration and Finance Stephen Crosby, a former high-technology business executive who is overseeing the Commonwealth’s “e-government” efforts, and Janet Caldow, executive director of the IBM Institute for Electronic Government, a resource for government in developing strategy, policy, and implementation of electronic services. An edited transcript of their presentations follows.
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The Right Honorable James B. Bolger, ONZ, New Zealand’s Ambassador to the United States, delivered the keynote address at Pioneer’s 2000 Better Government Competition Awards Dinner, outlining the market-based government policies he undertook as New Zealand’s prime minister in the 1980s and ’90s to rescue a country on the edge of economic collapse and help transform it into what is now one of the world’s most robust economies.
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A panel discussion organized by Pioneer Institute’s new Center for Entrepreneurship recently presented varying viewpoints on state and local regulation of smallscale businesses as part of a conference on “Microenterprise in Boston: Building the Entrepreneurial City of the Future.”
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Jonathan Walters, senior correspondent at Governing magazine (www. governing.com), spoke September 20, 2000, at a Pioneer Forum in connection with the release of a White Paper he authored titled “Toward a High-Performance Workplace: Fixing Civil Service in Massachusetts.”
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This paper looks at five areas of teacher contracts: compensation, teacher evaluation and discipline, transfer policies and their relationship to seniority, layoffs, and provisions that deal with work load, length of the work year, and the work day.
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Dr. Jerome H. Grossman spoke June 12, 2000, at a Pioneer Forum in connection with the release of a Pioneer White Paper he authored entitled “The Economic History of Health Care in Massachusetts 1990-2000.” The paper explores the economic forces shaping health care in Massachusetts today and offers market-based recommendations. Dr. Grossman served as Chairman and CEO of New England Medical Center from 1979 to 1995. Currently a Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Chairman and CEO of Lion Gate Management Corporation, a health care information technology and consulting firm , he was named to the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in 1983 and served as Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute in 1996.
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Former U.S. Congressman Floyd H. Flake of New York, who has long been a leader in the fight for school choice, spoke June 6, 2000, at a Pioneer Forum on urban education reform and school choice. Reverend Flake is also senior pastor of the Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY, which is home to a 500-student private school. While in Congress, Reverend Flake co-sponsored a bill that would provide scholarships for children in poor neighborhoods to attend public, private, or religious schools of their choice. The following is an edited transcript of his Forum remarks.
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Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University, delivered the third annual Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy on April 4, 2000. A provocative speaker, Dr. Williams is widely known as the author of a syndicated newspaper column and a radio talk show guest host.
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Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Chester E. Finn, Jr. spoke February 17, 2000, on "Charter Schools in Action: Renewing Public Education" at a Forum cosponsored by Pioneer Institute and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Finn, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, surveyed the nationwide charter school movement, based on an exhaustive study of the same title he recently published with co-authors Bruno V. Manno and Gregg Vanouerk.
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On January 20, 2000, Pioneer Institute sponsored a Forum on a proposal for charter colleges, publicly funded institutions of higher education managed independent of most state controls. In a Pioneer Institute White Paper, two prominent academicians argue that such operational freedom may enable institutions to operate more efficiently and produce higher quality educational results.
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On December 3, 1999, Pioneer Institute sponsored a Forum on the impact of school choice programs in Massachusetts. The forum focused on an update to a 1997 study on the interdistrict choice program, which permits students to attend participating out-of-district schools.
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On April 21, 1999, Pioneer Institute held the second annual Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy. "Transition from Communism: A Decade After," was delivered by Václav Klaus, former Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and current President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament.
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In September 1998, Pioneer co-sponsored with the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government a forum featuring Arizona state superintendent of public instruction Lisa Graham Keegan.
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On May 5, 1998, Pioneer Institute celebrated its tenth anniversary with the inaugural Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy. Governor Arne H. Carlson of Minnesota delivered the keynote address. In 1997 Governor Carlson, with bipartisan support, pushed through the most comprehensive education reform in the nation despite fierce union opposition.
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In March, 1998, Pioneer Institute sponsored a forum featuring internationally-recognized educator Dr. Lorraine Monroe. Dr. Monroe's career reflects a lifetime commitment to excellence, even in the most difficult and inhospitable conditions.
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On July 29, 1997, Pioneer Institute hosted a conference on social service delivery in the Commonwealth. Robert Melia, author of Pioneer's White Paper entitled Public Profits From Private Contracts and former vice president of Policy Studies, Inc, used child support enforcement as a case study to compare private versus public delivery of human services.
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On July 29, 1997, Pioneer Institute sponsored a conference on social service delivery in the Commonwealth. Joe Loconte, Deputy Editor of Policy Review, presented the findings of his book Seducing the Samaritan: How Government Contracts Are Reshaping Social Services, which was commissioned by Pioneer in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Economic Culture.
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On June 24, 1997, Eloise Anderson, director of the California Department of Social Services, delivered the keynote address at Pioneer Institute's Annual Meeting. Anderson, who oversees 4,200 employees and an annual budget in excess of $16 billion, posed a series of policy questions states are facing as they address welfare reform.
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On May 30, 1997 the Northeastern University College of Business Administration hosted a discussion about the proposed Boston Convention Center that was co-sponsored by Pioneer Institute.
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On March 13, 1997, Dr. Howard Fuller, Director of Marquette University's Institute for the Transformation of Learning and former Superintendent of the Milwaukee Public Schools, addressed a Pioneer Institute Forum about the need for urban school reform.
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On December 10, 1996, Pioneer Institute introduced its latest book, Toward a Safer Workplace: Reform and Deregulation of Workers Compensation, by James R. Chelius and Edward Moscovitch.
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On November 20, 1996, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Education, The Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Northeastern University, and Pioneer Institute's Charter School Resource Center sponsored a day-long conference on charter school accountability. The keynote address was delivered by former U.S. Secretary of Education and Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander.
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On October 23, 1996, a forum co-sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Pioneer Institute focused on the continuing controversy surrounding Massachusetts' charter schools.
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On July 25, 1996, Pioneer Institute held a forum that focused on the state and direction of the Boston Public School System. The forum was co-sponsored by the Boston Private Industry Council. Our panelists represented viewpoints that ranged from a positive appraisal of the city's current school reforms, to the opinion that only a fundamental restructuring of the system can bring real progress. Though the panelists have obvious policy differences, they share one characteristic: each is a Boston parent.
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On May 30, 1996, Pioneer Institute board member and former Secretary for Administration and Finance Peter Nessen, now a special advisor to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on health care issues, addressed a Pioneer Forum about the then- proposed merger between Boston City Hospital and University Hospital.
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On April 19, 1996, Pioneer Institute held a forum to preview our new book, Bilingual Education in Massachusetts: The Emperor Has No Clothes. For 25 years, the Commonwealth has mandated a single approach to teaching students with limited English proficiency (LEP) in Massachusetts public schools, called transitional bilingual education (TBE), despite the fact that there is virtually no reliable evidence to support its effectiveness.
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On January 31, 1996, Pioneer Institute Executive Director James A. Peyser delivered an address to the Boston Economic Club in which he proposed radical reforms to the structure of public education. After 30 years of stagnation and decline, only fundamental structural change can bring about lasting improvement in public education.
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On January 11, 1996, Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Lawrence W. Reed addressed a Pioneer Forum on the course of education reform in Michigan.
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On November 27, 1995, Professor James Q. Wilson delivered the keynote address at a dinner to honor the winners of Pioneer Institute's fifth annual Better Government Competition. In his address, Professor Wilson discussed the problems of illegitimacy and proposed that young, pregnant, unmarried girls who wish to establish an independent household at public expense be given this support only on the condition that they live in a family shelter or group home managed under private auspices, including religious groups.
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In our November 1995 Policy Dialogue, "Responses to a Harvard Study on School Choice: Is It a Study at All?" we gathered nine school choice experts to critique a draft manuscript of Who Chooses, Who Loses? Culture, Institutions, and the Unequal Effects of School Choice, edited by Harvard Professors Richard Elmore, Gary Orfield, and Bruce Fuller.