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 Book Offers Roadmap to Sustainability for Massachusetts Catholic Schools

Catholic schools in Massachusetts must focus on the characteristics that make them academically successful and distinguish them from traditional public schools, but must also seek new models and governance structures that will help them achieve financial sustainability, according to a new book published by Pioneer Institute. The book, "A Vision of Hope: Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts," will be the topic of a webinar co-sponsored by Pioneer and the Catholic Schools Foundation to be held on Wednesday, January 27 at 2:00 pm. 

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.

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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: