PioneerEducation generates practical ideas that public policy makers, individual schools, and school districts can implement by publishing research that offers constructive recommendations; sponsoring forums supporting school reform; publishing commentary in state and national news outlets; and testifying before the legislature and government agencies on pending education reform issues.

Pioneer’s work is built on the premise that the Commonwealth should uphold its constitutional obligations to all our schoolchildren by increasing academic rigor and ensuring the equality of educational opportunity.

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THE LEARNING CURVE EDUCATION PODCAST

TUNE IN: Wednesdays at 12 pm

“The Learning Curve” is where you’ll find straight talk about the nation’s hottest education stories – news and opinion from the schoolyard to the 2020 campaign trail. Co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal serve up provocative commentary and interview school leaders, innovators, bestselling authors, policymakers and more. Listeners can find “The Learning Curve” on iTunes (Apple Podcasts), StitcherSpotifyGoogle Play, and the Choice Media mobile app. They can also find it online at Ricochet and Pioneer Institute.

PIONEER EDUCATION POLICY AREAS

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.

AEI’s Robert Pondiscio on E.D. Hirsch, Civic Education, & Charter Public Schools

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He shares his background working with curriculum expert E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who has emphasized the importance of academic content knowledge in K-12 education as well as civic education to develop active participants in our democracy. Pondiscio explains some of the findings of his book, How the Other Half Learns, on New York’s Success Academy charter schools network.

AEI’s Robert Pondiscio on E.D. Hirsch, Civic Education, & Charter Public Schools

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He shares his background working with curriculum expert E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who has emphasized the importance of academic content knowledge in K-12 education as well as civic education to develop active participants in our democracy. Pondiscio explains some of the findings of his book, How the Other Half Learns, on New York’s Success Academy charter schools network.

Pioneer Institute Files Amicus Curiae Brief in U.S. Supreme Court School Choice Case

Pioneer Institute has filed an amicus curiae brief in Carson v. Makin urging the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down a provision of Maine law. The Court will hear oral arguments in Carson this morning (December 8) at 10 am. The Maine law being challenged allows districts that don’t have their own schools to contract with a school or pay for students that choose to attend public or private schools, but explicitly excludes religious schools.

Virtual Learning Grows During COVID

Virtual learning in K-12 education continues to grow due to the health threat caused by coronavirus variants and the assistance this learning model can provide to at-risk students, according to two papers released today by Pioneer Institute.

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Over two decades ago, Massachusetts introduced its first charter public schools, planting seeds that would grow some of the highest performing public schools in the nation. No one could have known then how successful this experiment in education reform would be—nor how controversial. 

The Fight for the Best Charter Public Schools in the Nation draws on data and interviews with education policymakers and school leaders to trace the history of charter schools and document the stellar academic outcomes that they help students achieve. Learn more:

In Massachusetts, the Know-Nothing amendments prevent more than 100,000 urban families with children in chronically underperforming school districts from receiving scholarship vouchers that would allow them access to additional educational alternatives. These legal barriers, also known as Blaine amendments, restrict government funding from flowing to religiously affiliated organizations in nearly 40 states and are a violation of the first and fourteenth amendments.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case this year, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, that could end these amendments. In 2018, Pioneer produced a 30-minute documentary on the impact of the Blaine amendments on families in Massachusetts, Georgia, and Michigan. Watch it now and learn more:

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