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!

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

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara talk with Jay Mathews, an education columnist for The Washington Post and author of the recent book, An Optimist's Guide to American Public Education. Jay describes the three key trends in K-12 schooling that he views as cause for hope.

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.