COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: COVID-19 treatments on the way?, a COVID-19 Manhattan Project, best practices at Best Buy, “Expert Mercy,” a shout-out to a local high school, & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email: pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org.

Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:

Jim Stergios, Executive Director, shares some hopeful news about COVID-19 treatments:

“The first US clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is Moderna’s mRNA-1273, has started at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the trial has dosed its first participant.” Read more.

“Based on results of clinical trials conducted with affected patients in both Wuhan and Shenzhen by Chinese medical authorities, Japanese-made flu drug favipiravir (also known as Avigan) has been shown to be effective in both reducing the duration of the COVID-19 virus in patients and to have improved the lung conditions of those who received treatment with the drug.” Read more.

And some concerns about testing: “Pioneer is a data-driven organization and we have concerns about policy making based on fear. That’s why the increase in COVID-19 testing is so important. As this Stat News article points out, “We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300… The most valuable piece of information for answering questions about how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving would be to know the current prevalence of the infection in a random sample of a population and to repeat this exercise at regular time intervals to estimate the incidence of new infections.””

Bill Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: Regarding the pharmaceutical chain, our dependence upon China is modest but growing.  And, there is a good deal we don’t know.  Here is some recent testimony from the FDA on the issue. Two more items of interest: “Duke University’s Margolis Center calls for a public-private ‘Manhattan Project’ to find answers to COVID-19” and “The New Yorker recounts the federal government’s missteps on coronavirus testing.  It isn’t pretty.

George Parker, Director of Individual Giving: An educational and emotional article. “Expert Mercy“: a term we should all be using and practicing!

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: Kudos to Best Buy for “best practices” when it comes to social distancing. Best Buy is limiting each store to 10 to 15 customers at a time and customers will be escorted by an employee who is six feet away. Of course, it will be important that Best Buy help to keep those in line waiting outside to enter six feet apart as they wait.

Jamie Gass, Education Director, shares some great resources: Florida Virtual School, winner of Pioneer’s 2008 Better Government Competition, is offering virtual teacher training to Florida school districts. FLVS’ founder Julie Young, a recent guest on Pioneer’s podcast, “The Learning Curve,” is now with Arizona State University (ASU), which is also offering terrific guidance and resources: ASU For You, which includes many learning tools at no cost such as virtual field trips; library access; video lessons, labs and simulations in K-12 subject areas; badge and certificate programs in areas such as health and well-being, smart cities and environmental science; tutoring, online courses and training videos for teachers or parents teaching from home; and courses for college credit.

Jamie also put together his own reading guide for parents seeking excellent materials on classic literature and historical figures to share with their children. And on our latest episode of The Learning Curve, Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson interviewed Former Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston Ray Flynn, who shared his thoughts on how the world is reacting to COVID-19, and how it compares to other crises he has witnessed.

Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency, gives a shout out to St. Joseph’s Prep in Brighton, MA for the great lengths they’re going to in order to adapt to remote learning and keep their students engaged. Take a look at their schedule:

She also joined The Boston Globe in reminding the public that, despite COVID-19 overshadowing everything, it’s Sunshine Week, when we promote open and accountable government – more important now than ever.

Do YOU have interesting articles to share with us? Please email us, or message us through our social media channels below!

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

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Pulitzer Winner Diane McWhorter on Civil Rights History & Race in America

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard mark the Juneteenth commemoration of the end of slavery with an episode devoted to Civil Rights history. They are joined by Diane McWhorter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.

Coronavirus Hits Back on Communities Who Slowed Their Spread

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“This couldn’t come at a worse time,” said rep. Bill Keating…

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.

New Pioneer Institute Hotline Allows Public to Report Violations of Open Meeting Law

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With most public meetings taking place remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pioneer Institute has unveiled an online hotline that allows members of the public to report potential violations of the Commonwealth’s and other states' Open Meeting Law.

Pandemic, Lost Instructional Time Reveal Massachusetts’ Digital Learning Weaknesses

A report released today by Pioneer Institute says that the shutdown of Massachusetts schools due to the COVID-19 virus and the shift to online education have exposed the uneven nature of digital learning in the Commonwealth, and calls for state officials to develop programs to create more consistency.

Pioneer Institute Study Calls for Streamlining State Sales Tax Revenue Collection

At a time when state tax revenues are plummeting, a plan to modernize sales tax collection could get money into state coffers more quickly, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Hubwonk: Elections & COVID-19; Update: Mapping COVID Testing; School Reopening; Protecting Civil Liberties, & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Hubwonk Ep. 9: Elections in Epidemics: Keeping Voters Safe & Elections Fair during COVID-19

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Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Mary Connaughton as they talk with MIT Professor Charles Stewart on how states in general, and Massachusetts in particular, are adapting their voting process to keep elections safe, transparent, and fair during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update: “Mapping COVID-19” Tool Now Shows Testing Data

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Now, in addition to maps and tables regarding the number of cases and case rates across the state, “Mapping COVID-19” also includes information regarding the testing efforts in the Commonwealth.

MA Commissioner Jeff Riley on Remote Learning, Voc-Techs, & Reforming Boston’s Schools

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard open with commentary on the George Floyd tragedy and K-12 education’s role in addressing racial injustice. Then, they are joined by Jeffrey Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, to talk about the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

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.

Experts Find K-12 Online Education Can Be Appropriate for Most Special Needs Students

School closures due to COVID-19 have separated more than seven million K-12 special needs students from support they receive in the classroom, but online learning can be appropriate for most of those students if teachers and parents work as a team to provide each one with what he or she needs, according to a new report published by Pioneer Institute and ASU Prep Digital.

Pioneer Institute Looks Ahead to the Protection of Civil Liberties

Challenges to Americans’ civil liberties have increased in recent years.  History teaches us that during national emergencies governments are even more likely to overstep and violate constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. To address this concern, Pioneer Institute has created “Respect My Rights,” a web-based hotline to which citizens can submit complaints and descriptions of violations they have experienced.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Antibodies & immunity; Talking about WHO; Telecommuting Survey Results; Mapping COVID - Update; & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Even for the most remote part of Massachusetts (Franklin County), it’s far from business as usual

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The Connecticut River valley is home to some of the most productive…

Hubwonk Ep. 8: Who is WHO? COVID-19, Massachusetts, and the unhealthy World Health Organization

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Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Healthcare Senior Fellow Josh Archambault are joined by Hoover Institution’s Dr. Lanhee Chen to discuss the role that the World Health Organization (WHO) plays, what dysfunction may have contributed to the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what steps can be taken to bring back transparency and trust.

COVID Tracker for Long-Term Care Facilities

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Long Term Care Facilities With 2+ Known COVID Cases and Facility-Reported Deaths in Massachuetts

Study: Safely Reopening Office Buildings Will Require Planning, Innovation

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Safely bringing employees back into workplaces presents a significant challenge for employers located in office buildings, particularly when it comes to elevator operations and building entry and exit.  To address the challenge, managers must develop plans to control the flow of workers, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Acclaimed Poet & Former NEA Chairman Dana Gioia on Poetry & Arts Education

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dana Gioia, a poet, writer, and the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, to talk about why the arts are so pivotal to the intellectual and civic development of America’s K-12 schoolchildren.

38.8 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 28.3 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past ten weeks.

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Data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 38.8 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 28.3 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began ten weeks ago.

Once anchored by higher education, Hampshire County, MA finds itself out of work after a cancelled semester

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The 38,000 college and university students at the Five College…

In Hampden County, COVID-19 exacerbates a stark employment divide between urban and rural areas

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Hampden County, Massachusetts, home of Western New England’s…

Study: Officials Must Address Basic Questions to Improve Public School Computer Science Education

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has further transitioned education towards electronic devices, computer science education in K-12 public schools around the country faces a number of daunting challenges, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Hubwonk Ep. 7: Covid Testing: What went wrong, where we are & when we'll get closer to normalcy

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https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/chtbl.com/track/G45992/feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/828394294-pioneerinstitute-hubwonk-ep-7-covid-testing-what-went-wrong-where-we-are-when-well-get-closer-to-normalcy.mp3 Join…

Survey Suggests Demand for Telecommuting After COVID-19 Crisis

Citing an avoidance of the commute and more flexible scheduling, nearly 63 percent of respondents to Pioneer Institute’s survey, “Will You Commute To Work When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over?” expressed a preference to work from home one day a week, and a plurality preferred two to three days a week, even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Respondents cite social isolation as the biggest drawback of remote work. The survey was conducted from April 22nd to May 15th, and received responses from over 700 individuals.

It's Time for the MBTA to Actively Engage Riders to Understand Their Commuting Plans

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The MBTA should conduct a survey of mTicket app users regarding their future plans. Some may never work in offices again. Some will certainly do some workdays in the office and some at home. Others will be in offices and back to business as usual at some point. Using their responses, the T can calculate ridership and determine projected revenue.

Homeschooling Expert Kerry McDonald on Harvard Law Professor Controversy & COVID

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are happy to be joined by Kerry McDonald, a homeschooling expert and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education, on the major lessons we all should be learning from this educational moment, now that COVID has turned most of America’s 50 million schoolchildren and their families into "homeschoolers."

32.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past nine weeks.

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Data released today by the U.S. Department of the shows that 33.0 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began nine weeks ago.

Study Finds Pandemic Likely to Negatively Impact Biopharmaceutical Sector

Contrary to conventional wisdom that says the coronavirus pandemic will generally benefit biopharmaceutical companies, a new Pioneer Institute study finds many companies will emerge from the pandemic commercially weaker, dealing with delays in new product launches and with fewer resources to invest in research and development.

“Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction”: 8 K-12 Science Resources During COVID-19

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The fourth in Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19 focuses on science education.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: The race for a vaccine; Unemployment Tracker; Reopening reactions; Grading BPS on remote learning; Holyoke Soldiers' Home understaffing; & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

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…

Hubwonk Ep. 6: COVID-19 and Commerce: Main Street’s Concerns with Governor Baker’s Course

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In this episode of Hubwonk, Host Joe Selvaggi & Pioneer Research Analyst Rebecca Paxton to get reactions to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s phased reopening, from the leaders of two statewide business organizations, NFIB and Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

Holyoke Soldiers’ Home Study Targets Inadequate Nursing Home Staffing Standards

Standards enforced at the federal and state levels are insufficient to address chronic staffing issues reported by staff and residents’ families at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, making that facility particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new Pioneer Institute research.

Kaya Henderson, Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools, on Leading Urban District Reform

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are happy to be joined by Kaya Henderson, the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. They discuss the historic reforms Henderson oversaw, including increasing enrollment and improved test scores in an urban district that had been one of the lowest performing in the country.

28.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 24.1 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past eight weeks.

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Data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Workforce Development show that 28.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 24.1 percent  of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past eight weeks.

Time to follow the science, not fear

Over the past two months, we have all learned a great deal about COVID-19 and the efficacy of - and the new challenges created by - our policy responses. Pioneer Institute believes it is time to shift to a more thoughtful, science-based footing in our approach to COVID-19 policymaking. The following are principles for state and local public officials to consider as we move forward.

Where in Massachusetts is being hit hardest by unemployment due to COVID-19?

Pioneer’s new tool, called “COVID Unemployment Tracker,” provides an interactive look at how economic shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting jobs and lives across the state of Massachusetts.

How will COVID-19 affect the 2020 Census in Massachusetts?

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On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled a flood of…

Hubwonk Ep. 5: COVID Calling: How answering the tracing phone call will move us forward

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In this episode, Host Joe Selvaggi and Co-Host Barbara Anthony speak with the heads of Partners in Health Drs. Sheila Davis & John Welch on how they are bringing their expertise battling Ebola in West Africa to defeating the COVID-19 epidemic in Massachusetts. They explore precisely how and why tracing is an essential element in battling the epidemic.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Swabbing at home?; Is re-infection real?; Latest unemployment numbers; Can colleges survive?; What does re-opening look like?; How Holyoke happened; Homeschooling summit; Stargazing & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

As college students and parents demand robust COVID-19 response, university finances suffer

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COVID-19 is likely going to put severe pressure on college finances in the coming months due to costly added safety measures, cuts to state funding, and foregone revenue from campus housing, services, and events.

During COVID-19 Outbreak, Compounding Challenges for Special Education Students

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In Massachusetts, there’s a staunch and persistent negative…

Stargazing: Five Astronomy Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Kids During COVID-19

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Here are some resources for parents, teachers, and students of all ages. Our hope is to cultivate the curiosity within us, in order to better understand the heavens and stars above us.

UVA Law Professor Kimberly Robinson On Legal Debate About Education As Federal Right

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Kimberly Robinson, Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and the Curry School of Education, about her new book, "A Federal Right to Education: Fundamental Questions for Our Democracy," and the need for states to establish a “floor of opportunity” to ensure educational equity.

The past seven weeks of Massachusetts unemployment claims total 25.8 percent of the civilian workforce.

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The U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly report on jobless claims Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., reporting that Massachusetts received 55,448 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the week ended May 2. This brings the total of regular UI claims filed in Massachusetts since March 14, the beginning of the unemployment surge, to 781,110. 

National Study Finds Most States Lack Healthcare Price Transparency Laws

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic has caused massive shifts in state policies on telehealth and scope of practice in healthcare, a new Pioneer Institute study underscores that most of the 50 states continue to suffer from weak laws regarding price transparency.  The study identified states that have laws that require carriers, providers or both to provide personalized cost information to consumers before obtaining healthcare services.  Fully 33 states placed in the lowest of the three broad analytic tiers on the strength of their state healthcare transparency laws. 

Explosion in ESL enrollment creates new opportunities, challenges

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  The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, between 2010…

COVID-19 will likely lead to a recession. Can Massachusetts municipal budgets handle one?

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Using municipalities' experiences during the Great Recession, a new policy brief examines the likely impact of COVID-19 on local property taxes, as well as political implications for state aid. We list the municipal revenues by category among the least tax-reliant communities in Massachusetts, show the trajectory of tax revenue growth rate in Massachusetts state and local governments, and rank stabilization fund assets per capita among Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

Conquering COVID-19: When and From Where Will Vaccines and Therapies Emerge?

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This week on Hubwonk, Host Joe Selvaggi is joined by Pioneer’s Bill Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, and Dr. Peter Kolchinsky, Harvard-trained virologist, biotech investor and author of the new book, The Great American Drug Deal, to learn how the SARS-CoV2 works, what a vaccine may look like, and how we might produce it to scale.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Human testing of a vaccine; NYT best-selling author John Barry on COVID-19 & warmer weather; Just who's getting stimulus $?; Latest unemployment #s; What will reopening look like?; Tipping point for Telehealth & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

New York Times #1 best-selling author John M. Barry on the 1918 Influenza Pandemic & lessons for COVID-19

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by John M. Barry, author of the #1 New York Times best seller, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.

The past six weeks of Massachusetts unemployment claims total 24.0 percent of civilian workforce

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The U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly report on jobless claims this morning at 8:30 a.m., reporting that Massachusetts received 70,714 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the week ended April 25. This brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Massachusetts since March 14, the beginning of the unemployment surge, to 725,018. 

Re-opening for business: What should employers and commercial real estate managers do to prepare?

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Weeks away from re-opening, now is a time when employers and real estate managers must act. To assist our community in doing a great job of preparing, Pioneer Institute, in partnership with the law firm of Verrill, is sharing two checklists that will help you keep your employees safe, anticipate challenges, and develop feasible and useful methods to successfully deal with those challenges when they do.

Report Finds “Reopening Day” in the Commonwealth Will Likely Include Phasing in Businesses and Contact Tracing

New study compares the reopening of three European countries – Austria, Denmark, and Germany – to highlight approaches that could inform the Commonwealth’s reopening strategy.

To Read or Not to Read Shakespeare? 12 Great Ways to Get to Know The Bard During COVID-19

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With school closures impacting 50 million children across America, and a challenging transition to remote learning,  many parents are seeking supplementary material to enrich their children's academic experience during COVID-19.  Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available to introduce children of all ages to, arguably, the greatest literary figure in the English-speaking world, William Shakespeare.

A Tipping Point for Telehealth - Bringing Healthcare into Your Home

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This week on "Hubwonk," Joe Selvaggi and Josh Archambault talk with Dr. Roy Schoenberg, Chief Executive of Amwell, a global telehealth technology company headquartered in Boston, about the promise of telemedicine and how the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed broader adoption.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: 90-day prescription refills?; Who has the power to re-open the economy?; Grading the Bay State in Online Learning; The T & COVID prevention; & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Ashley Berner of Johns Hopkins on Academic Quality, Educational Pluralism, & the Providence Public Schools

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Ashley Berner, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy. 

New jobless claims data shows that Massachusetts unemployment has grown from 2.8% to at least 20.4% in five weeks

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Based on today’s jobless claims report, Pioneer Institute projects that the current unemployment rate in Massachusetts is at least 20.4 percent, with a minimum of 762,299 currently unemployed individuals.

Study Highlights Transit Agency Best Practices in Response to COVID-19

The MBTA is taking a number of important steps to mitigate risks associated with the coronavirus, but some transit agencies around the country - from Philadelphia to San Francisco - have done significantly more, according to a new study that highlights the best practices of U.S. transit systems in response to COVID-19.

WILL YOU COMMUTE TO WORK WHEN THE COVID-19 CRISIS IS OVER?

How will you look at commuting in the future? This survey will ask over 30,000 people how their attitudes and habits will change. Please be part of our work to understand the changing world around us.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: How long does COVID-19 survive?; Remdesivir to the rescue; HubWonk: Attorneys & clients at risk? & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Coronavirus & Contracts – Protecting Massachusetts Attorneys & Clients from Risk

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In this episode of "Hubwonk," host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Chief Financial Officer & Director of Government Transparency, Mary Connaughton, speak with attorney and entrepreneur Kosta Ligris about how Massachusetts’ requirement for live attestation for many vital contracts is putting attorneys and clients at risk of exposure to coronavirus.

Buoy Health – Intelligent Front Door to Optimized Healthcare

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In this first episode of Pioneer's new podcast, Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Senior Fellow in Healthcare Josh Archambault talk with Dr. Andrew Le, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of Buoy Health.

Elderly people were already vulnerable to COVID-19. Then it came to nursing homes.

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Last week, reports of mismanagement and negligence regarding…

Hospitality, Retail Trade, Healthcare Among ‘Most Vulnerable Industries’ in Terms of Unemployment due to COVID-19

Recent data provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development show that hospitality, retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, and construction are the industries that have suffered the most unemployment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the new Pioneer Institute report, “A Look at the Massachusetts Industries that are Most Vulnerable Due to COVID-19.”

Mapping COVID-19 in Massachusetts Cities & Towns

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Kudos to he Massachusetts Department of Public Health for posting the count and rate (per 100,000) of confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Massachusetts by City/Town.

Transparency Needed at Long-term Care Facilities

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The anxiety of having a parent in a nursing home under the constant…

Christensen Institute Co-founder Michael Horn on Digital Learning & COVID-19

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

COVID-19’s Impact on Rental Housing

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The Massachusetts Legislature is currently debating a rental housing bill. What impact will it have on the many landlords for whom rental income is their only source of income?

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Will plans to re-open hurt civil liberties?; COVID-19 model skeptic; SCOTUS returns!; New podcast, HubWonk; 5 Tips for online learning & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Which industry’s workforce has been hurt the most from the COVID-19 outbreak?

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Unemployment claims have reached all-time highs in the U.S. recently…

New Study Calls for Re-thinking Massachusetts' COVID-19 Care Standards

Pioneer's new study raises concerns about the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH’s) Crises Standards of Care (CSC) issued earlier this month, which bear the earmarks of a state bureaucratic effort and should be rethought under a process that includes a thorough vetting by Massachusetts citizens.

Pioneer Institute Launches Its New Policy Podcast, "HubWonk"

Pioneer Institute is pleased to announce the launch today of a new, weekly podcast called “HubWonk,” covering timely topics, with insights and in-depth interviews on the issues that affect our quality of life, ability to prosper, and liberties. 

Will the COVID-19-related economic recession cause a spike in crime?

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Intuitively, it makes sense that people replace legitimate business…

New Report Offers Case Study for Transition to Online Learning

Virtual Schooling Pioneer Julie Young provides tips on how states should move forward with the transition to online education during COVID-19.

The Institute for Justice's Tim Keller on Espinoza v. Montana DOR & ongoing school choice litigation

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Tim Keller, Senior Attorney with the Institute for Justice, which is representing the plaintiffs in the high-profile Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court,.

State Ranking: Michigan, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Nevada have been hardest-hit by COVID-19 jobless claims so far. Massachusetts ranks as 9th hardest-hit.

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The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that in the week ended April 4, the advance number of seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims was 6,606,000. This follows 6,867,000 initial claims filed in the week ended March 28 and 3,307,000 in the week ended March 21.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Tracking drug discovery efforts; Secrets to Germany’s success; Unemployment tsunami; Voc-techs answering the call; COVID prevalence by town & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

COVID-19 unemployment surge is on pace to wipe out the MA Unemployment Reserve Fund within three months

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The unprecedented surge of COVID-19- related unemployment claims that began two weeks ago is on pace to wipe out the MA unemployment Reserve Fund within three months, which will force state leaders to turn to the federal government for a bailout loan.

Report: MA Likely to See Sharp Spike in Unemployment Rate

The COVID-19 recession could cause Massachusetts’ unemployment rate to skyrocket to 25.4 percent by this June, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute. The authors recommend that the state join others in lobbying Congress for large block grants to avoid a severe fiscal crisis.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Antibodies & serology tests to the rescue; Why such wide-ranging forecasts?; the Droplets v. Aerosol debate; Crowdsourcing symptoms & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Stanford Pulitzer Winner David Kennedy on Lessons for COVID-19 from the 1918 Flu Epidemic & Great Depression

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This week on “The Learning Curve” Cara and Gerard continue coverage of COVID-19’s impact on K-12 education, joined by Pulitzer-winning historian David Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Will we see a spike in crime?; Ranking states on social distancing; Ramping up remote learning; Secrecy about case numbers & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

New Report: Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY) Methodology Discriminates Against Older Americans, Threatens to Deny Seniors Access to Life-Saving Care

New report asserts that with older americans more vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic, all health plans should avoid using the QALY methodology when assessing the value of care for older patients

Learning in the Time of COVID-19

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Parents are deeply frustrated with the loss of learning their children will be provided as a result of COVID-19. Here are some resources to help address this gap.

Pioneer Launches Report Series Highlighting Massachusetts Job Growth and Business Trends Since 1998

In “Some Big, Broad Economic Trends in Massachusetts,” Pioneer analysis of two decades of data shows fluctuating employment changes across the state, as well as firm size information and the largest employers. The report is part one of aa series that aims to provide deeper insight into COVID-19's economic impact.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: When will COVID-19 peak in MA?; Life in the aftermath; Tracking potential treatments; Getting America working again; Taking virtual learning to new heights & more!

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Pioneer staff (and readers) share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

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…

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: When should America re-open?, $2T federal relief impact, Tax deadline pushed, COVID-19 video contest & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

New Policy Brief on Federal Relief Act's Impact on Massachusetts

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Greg Sullivan and Charlie Chieppo review the impact of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act on Massachusetts' budget.

Congress should fix aid, provide block grants

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

New Brief Calls on the USED for School Closure Guidelines During COVID-19

Pioneer calls on the federal government to quickly release a single report identifying which federal laws - and which aspects of those laws - are relevant to the topic of school closure during the COVID pandemic, and providing concrete guidance on how schools can comply in the coming weeks.

Public Statement: Extend Massachusetts’ Income Tax Filing Deadline

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Massachusetts must extend the tax filing deadline, just as the federal government and 34 of the 41 states that tax income have done.

Why Are We So Scared And Impatient?

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

Financial Disclosures - As Important Now as Ever

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News sources report that certain senators sold stocks just before the market crashed when the economic impact of Coronavirus came to light. Now more than ever, financial disclosures must be accessible to the media and to the public.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Tracking COVID-19 in MA, unemployment tsunami, cancel MCAS?, cell phone hygiene, salute to James Taylor, state tax filing & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

Baker needs to expand telehealth further

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

7 Tools to Keep Your Child Engaged in Math During COVID-19

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Proven resources that every parent can and should make use of now and well beyond COVID-19.

Public Statement on Massachusetts' Emergency Order Aiming to Curb the Spread of the Coronavirus

Governor Baker’s issuance of an emergency order is a wake-up call to recognize the extraordinary actions needed at this moment to stem the upsurge in coronavirus infections. It is also a reminder to be vigilant about our liberties. 

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: How some countries are succeeding, Tips for maintenance staff safety, Shelter in place?, Equity in remote learning policies

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

5 Guidelines for Protecting Our Residential Building Maintenance Staff

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While we are now practicing physical distancing, we may not be giving a lot of thought to our supers or building managers and what we as residents should do to help keep them safe. Here aree some tips from Pioneer's Senior Fellow in Healthcare, Barbara Anthony.

Sunshine Week 2020 – When Government Transparency Is More Important Than Ever

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COVID-19 has overshadowed what was supposed to be Sunshine Week, but vigilance on behalf of open government is even more crucial during times like these, when the public has limited access. But government transparency is important at all times. Each year during Sunshine Week, Pioneer reviews some of its recent work to increase public accountability in Massachusetts government.

Ambassador Ray Flynn on Public Leadership During Global Crisis & the Case for Catholic Schools

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This week on “The Learning Curve” (St. Patrick’s Day edition), Cara and Gerard discuss COVID-19’s ongoing toll on families and K-12 education, and interview Raymond Flynn, former Ambassador to the Vatican and three-term Mayor of Boston, about the world-historical moment presented by the Coronavirus pandemic as well as his advocacy for religious education.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: potential drugs to stem COVID; remote learning guidance; drive-through COVID testing & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for today's COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

5 Book Series Parents Can Explore During COVID-19 School Closings

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Looking for quality literature and books to share with your children while we’re all at home for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19? Here are some excellent options that will nurture a love for great classic literature and enduring historical figures:

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer

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A roundup of COVID-19 news articles, best practices, and other useful items of interest from Pioneer staff.

Pioneer Institute & COVID-19

Message from Jim Stergios sharing important steps and work we at Pioneer will be undertaking during the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue to provide quality programming, research, videos, podcasts, and social media content, and serve as a resource for media and the public, with a focus on issues such as telecommuting and telemedicine, online learning and homeschooling options, and innovation in the life sciences.