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 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: This data visualization tool from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health research center at the University of Washington, shares state-by-state projections about peak hospital resource use and potential deaths. Massachusetts’ peak seems to be around April 15th, New York’s a bit earlier, and California’s quite a bit later than the nationwide average.

Also from Jim: Here’s an interesting look at life in Beijing and what life is like when the quarantine comes to an end (or at least a temporary halt). And, Schulmerich Bells, a Pennsylvania small business, is challenging, via a class-action lawsuit, the state’s ability to order “non-essential” businesses to close.

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, shares some great resources:

Rebekah Paxton, Research Assistant, passes along a story from Omaha, Nebraska that includes a chilling statement from the police chief when asked about an order conflicting with the First Amendment right to assemble.  Rebekah notes, “While everyone is giving something up right now and for good reason, rhetoric around foregoing First Amendment rights could be a slippery slope.”

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Robert Kaplan, Senior Fellow and Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus at the Harvard Business School, shares his Wall Street Journal op-ed with economist Mickey Levy on how to balance public health with getting America working again.

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: Do you have personal protective equipment to donate or sell to support Massachusetts’ COVID-19 response efforts? The state is soliciting all kinds of equipment – click here and complete the form.

Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director, shares what one nation-leading state and school are doing to expand digital learning during COVID-19.

Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

A reader asked: “When will the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance have benefits for self-employed?”

Poll Results: Yesterday, we asked readers, “Are you happy with how K-12 public schools have handled remote learning during COVID-19?”
Results: 57% No; 29% Yes; 14% Not enough information

Do YOU have interesting questions and/or 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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COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Pioneer is proud to present a new vaccine tracker, the newest tool in our COVID-19 tracking project. Pioneer distilled the vaccination data down to those who are either fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated, by all the demographic categories published by the DPH. Use the new tool below to compare rates among groups, by municipality and by county. We will update the data every week.

The Washington Post’s Jay Mathews on An Optimist’s Guide to American Public Education

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Grading Education in a Pandemic: Survey Finds Teachers Pass, Administrations Fail & Students Incomplete

This week on Hubwonk, Joe Selvaggi discusses a recently released survey from Pioneer Institute and Emerson Polling, "Massachusetts Residents’ Perceptions of K-12 Education During the Covid-19 Pandemic," with Emerson's lead analyst, Isabel Holloway, and Pioneer Institute’s Charlie Chieppo.

Poll Finds Mixed Views About Schools’ Pandemic Performance

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts residents have mixed opinions about how K-12 education has functioned, but they tend to view the performance of individual teachers more favorably than that of institutions like school districts and teachers’ unions, according to a poll of 1,500 residents commissioned by Pioneer Institute.

Doctor Heal Thyself: Insider’s Prescription For Healthcare Reform

Host Joe Selvaggi talks with surgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Marty Makary about the healthcare reform themes in The Price We Pay, the 2020 Business Book of the Year.  The discussion covers the value of price transparency, provider accountability, and performance information to drive better medical outcomes and improve doctor and patient satisfaction.

New Study Warns Graduated Income Tax Will Harm Many Massachusetts Retirees

If passed, a constitutional amendment to impose a graduated income tax would raid the retirement plans of Massachusetts residents by pushing their owners into higher tax brackets on the sales of homes and businesses, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. The study, entitled “The Graduated Income Tax Trap: A retirement tax on small business owners,” aims to help the public fully understand the impact of the proposed new tax.

Dartmouth’s Prof. Susannah Heschel Discusses Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel & the Civil Rights Movement

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Susannah Heschel, the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, and the daughter of noted 20th-century Jewish theologian and Civil Rights-era leader, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. They discuss what teachers and students today should know about Rabbi Heschel’s life and legacy.

Study: Graduated Income Tax Proponents Rely on Analyses That Exclude the Vast Majority Of “Millionaires” to Argue Their Case

Advocates for a state constitutional amendment that would apply a 4 percent surtax to households with annual earnings of more than $1 million rely heavily on the assumption that these proposed taxes will have little impact on the mobility of high earners. They cite analyses by Cornell University Associate Professor Cristobal Young, which exclude the vast majority of millionaires, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Hoover Institution’s Dr. Eric Hanushek on COVID-19, K-12 Learning Loss, & Economic Impact

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This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. They discuss his research, cited by The Wall Street Journal, on learning loss due to the pandemic, especially among poor, minority, and rural students, and its impact on skills and earnings.

UK Classics Scholar Kathryn Tempest on Cicero, Brutus, & the Death of Caesar

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Dr. Kathryn Tempest, a Reader in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Roehampton in London, UK, and author of Cicero: Politics and Persuasion in Ancient Rome and Brutus: The Noble Conspirator. They discuss the historical, civic, and moral lessons political leaders, educators, and schoolchildren today can learn by studying the Roman Republic and the lives of key figures from that era such as Cicero and Brutus.