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. 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 news about the supply chain from Forbes: Puerto Rico Can Help The U.S. End Its Dependence On Chinese Pharmaceutical Ingredients.

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: Here‘s one Stanford University professor’s take on where this could go.

Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: New York Times’ health reporter Donald McNeil writes: “If we had enough tests for every American, even the completely asymptomatic cases could be found and isolated… Obviously, there is no magic wand, and no 300 million tests. But the goal of lockdowns and social distancing is to approximate such a total freeze.”

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: Terrific, must-read piece, in The Boston Globe: “Understanding what works: How some countries are beating back the coronavirus.”


Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare, offers some tips to help ensure the safety of our residential building maintenance and management staff.

Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: As a public service, along with major national news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, many of our state’s newspapers have lifted their paywalls and are offering free online access to Coronavirus coverage including the Boston Herald, Berkshire Eagle, The Boston Globe (through Boston.com), Metrowest Daily News and many other regionals. If your newspaper is doing the same – please let us know. We’d love to give them a shout out for this terrific public service. Keeping people informed saves lives.

Micaela Dawson, Communications Director: Kudos to Chelmsford-based company Zoll for ramping up ventrilator production to fight COVID-19. Read the story in the Boston Herald.


Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has just issued a stay-home advisory and emergency order regarding non-essential businesses. Should he issue a shelter-in-place order? Let us know your thoughts – take our poll below.

Jamie Gass, Education Director: On our latest episode of “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson discuss the Philadelphia school district’s decision not to offer remote instruction to any of its 200,000 students due to concerns that not all have access to technology. Is this reaction to COVID-19 reasonable or irresponsible?

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!

Award-Winning Writer Brenda Wineapple on the 170th Anniv. of The Scarlet Letter & Pres. Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Brenda Wineapple, author of the award-winning Hawthorne: A Life and The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. They discuss her definitive biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Study: Economic Recovery from COVID Will Require Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Reforms

As the initial economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, a new study from Pioneer Institute finds that governments must continue to provide short-term relief to stabilize small businesses as they simultaneously consider longer-term reforms to hasten and bolster recovery – all while facing a need to shore up public sector revenues.

International Best-Seller Dr. Jung Chang On Wild Swans, Mao’s Tyranny, & Modern China

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Jung Chang, author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China; Mao: The Unknown Story; and Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China.

“Architecture is Frozen Music” Great Massachusetts Buildings – 25 Resources for K-12 Education

Understanding enduring public and private architecture is a key way to learn about art, ideas, and how they harmonize with our democracy. Yet, Massachusetts buildings are often never discussed in K-12 education. We’re offering a variety of links about outstanding houses and architecture across the Bay State for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to enjoy, visit, and better appreciate, including:

COVID-19 Transparency – A Step Backwards

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Massachusetts has unfortunately taken the backwards step of ending its longstanding daily reporting of something basic and important: the virus’s cumulative impact on various age groups.

Kelly Smith, Prenda CEO, on Microschooling & the Future of K-12 Learning

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kelly Smith, founder and CEO of Prenda, a company that helps create flexible learning environments known as microschools. Often described as the “reinvention of the one-room school house,” microschools combine homeschooling, online education, smaller class sizes, mixed age-level groupings, flipped classrooms, and personalized learning.