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.

Rutgers Prof. Paul Israel on Thomas Edison, Inventions, & American Patents

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Prof. Paul Israel, Director & General Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University, and author of Edison: A Life of Invention, the definitive biography of America’s greatest inventor. Professor Israel describes Edison’s public and private life, as well as the impact of his world-changing inventions, such as the hot-filament light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion-picture camera.

Author Nicholas Basbanes on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow & the Spirit of American Poetry

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Nicholas Basbanes, author of the 2020 literary biography, Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He shares why poetry - from the Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer to Dante, Shakespeare, Longfellow, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes - may well be the most influential, enduring form of written human expression.

Study: Systemic Failure in IDEA Implementation for Private School Students with Disabilities in Additional States

On the heels of a $3.8 million settlement for private school students with disabilities in Massachusetts for the state’s failure to comply with provisions of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require provision of equitable, publicly funded special education services to students in private schools, a Pioneer Institute study finds that two states and three school districts around the country for which data are available also appear to be out of compliance.

Key Madison Park Program Lags Other State Voc-Techs, but Shows Signs of Improvement

The co-operative education program at Boston’s Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, which places students in paid positions with local employers, lags far behind other Massachusetts vocational-technical schools in terms of both placements and number of employer contacts.  But with the school as a whole beginning to improve after years of turmoil, the co-op is also showing promising signs, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

VIDEO: Making a Difference Through METCO

A new video about the METCO program centers around the friendship between two Wayland High School students; one who lives in Wayland and the other from Boston. It also features interviews with METCO CEO Milly Arbaje-Thomas and Mabel Reid-Wallace, Director of Wayland's METCO program.

Urban Institute’s Dr. Matthew Chingos on the Year of School Choice & the Student Loan Debt Crisis

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Matthew Chingos, who directs the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. They discuss the “Year of School Choice,” the welcome 2021 trend of states across America expanding or establishing private school choice programs; as well as the student debt crisis in higher education.

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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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