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

New Study Provides Toolkit for Crafting Education Tax-Credit Scholarship Programs

In the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a key impediment to private school choice, Pioneer Institute has published a toolkit for designing tax-credit scholarship programs. Now available in 18 states, nearly 300,000 students nationwide use tax-credit scholarships to attend the school of their family’s choice. TCS policies create an incentive for taxpayers to contribute to nonprofit scholarship organizations that aid families with tuition and, in some states, other K–12 educational expenses. This paper explores the central design features of TCS policies—such as eligibility, the tax credit value, credit caps, and academic accountability provisions—and outlines the different approaches taken by the TCS policies in each state.

Voc-tech schools thriving despite pandemic strictures

HANDS-ON EDUCATION plays a critical role at Massachusetts regional vocational-technical high schools, where students alternate weekly between academics and shop classes. Given that reality, you’d think the schools would be particularly hard hit by the switch to hybrid models under which students are in a physical school building only half the time. But thanks to innovative approaches to coping with pandemic-related restrictions, voc-techs are successfully bucking statewide public-school enrollment trends.

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.

MA’s Remote Learning Regs Should Specify Consistent District Grading Policies, Return of MCAS in 2020-21

The COVID-19 pandemic-related revisions to Massachusetts’ remote learning regulations should restore state and local accountability by specifying that any remote academic work shall, to the same extent as in-person education, prepare students to take MCAS tests, and that grading criteria should be the same across in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments, according to a new policy brief published by Pioneer Institute.

Find your own facts at MassAnalysis!

Find out what your city or town spends on education, compare it to other Massachusetts cities and towns, or review spending compared to previous  years.

Get Updates on Our School Choice Research

Watch our videos on charter, parochial, voc-tech & other school options!

As a small non-profit, we depend on the generous support of individuals like you to fund our important research and programs.

Make a tax-deductible gift below to support our campaign to expand access to high-quality academic options.

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: