Pioneer Institute believes parents and children deserve an alternative to failing district schools.

School choice should include a menu of options, including: University partnerships, private management, Commonwealth and Horace Mann public charter schools, pilot schools, vocational-technical schools, scholarships to independent and parochial schools, and interdistrict choice (e.g., METCO).

SCHOOL CHOICE POLICY AREAS

Don’t mess with success of voc-tech high schools

For more than 25 years, Massachusetts vocational-technical high schools have done everything state officials have asked of them. Instead of moving the goal posts by compelling them to switch to a lottery system, we should expand the schools. 

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.

New Pioneer Study Looks to International Examples to Inform Massachusetts K-12 Schools Reopening

With the fall semester fast approaching, Massachusetts should provide more specific COVID-19-related guidance for school districts about ramping up remote learning infrastructure; rotating in-person cohort schedules; diversifying methods of communication between students, parents, and teachers; and investigating physical distancing capabilities.  Districts must determine whether to adopt in-person, remote, or hybrid schooling options, and they will not be ready for the fall unless the state provides clear direction, according to new analysis from Pioneer Institute.

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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: