This Week at Pioneer

Fresh on the heels of the New York Times debate pitting Bill Gates against Steve Jobs over the value of a liberal arts education, Pioneer held an event yesterday on this very topic: “The Liberal Arts & Closing Achievement Gaps,” featuring VA Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson, MA Senate President Tom Birmingham, and a distinguished panel that included Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy, Democrats for Education Reform,  E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Chairman and Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation, Monty Neill, Interim Executive Director, Fair Test, and Tony Wagner, Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Here is a link to some pics, we’ll have a video link next week.  

http://www.facebook.com/album….

Read Jim Stergios’ Boston.com blog on the Gates-Jobs debate, in which he notes that the national standards Gates is pushing “lopped in half Massachusetts’ emphasis on literature in K-12 grades.” http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Steve Poftak, our Director of Research, has an op-ed (co-authored with John Miller) in today’s Boston Globe: “Commuter Rail – Off Track.” Check it out:

http://www.boston.com/bostongl…

Jim Stergios has an op-ed in today’s MetroWest Daily on “Why Jobs Are Leaving”: http://www.metrowestdailynews….

Jim also answers questions regarding teacher pensions, following his appearance on Chronicle a few weeks ago:

http://boston.com/community/bl…

Yesterday, Pioneer board members Kerry Healey, former Lt. Governor, and Kathleen Madigan, DC-based education researcher, had an op-ed in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on “Women, History and the MCAS”:

http://www.telegram.com/apps/p…

Pioneer welcomes Taylor Amerding, formerly of the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, to our blog. Click here to read his latest post: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Lastly, don’t forget to submit an entry to our Better Government Competition for your chance to win $10,000. The deadline is this Monday, April 4th, and here are the details:

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

We hope that you’ll visit us at: http://www.pioneerinstitute.org/  

And consider becoming more involved in our important work by:

– Attending our events

– Signing up for our e-updates http://server1.streamsend.com/…

– Liking us (and commenting!) on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Pionee…  

– Following us on Twitter http://twitter.com/PioneerBoston and/or

– Making a donation http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

[poll id=”

387

“]

About Pioneer_Institute

This Week at Pioneer

Today marks the one-year anniversary of “ObamaCare.” You won’t find a more engaging debate on the topic than the one Pioneer hosted earlier this month between two national experts, Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Dr. Jonathan Gruber, advisors to Senator John McCain and President Obama, respectively.  The event was moderated by former gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker. View a short clip and/or the full video.

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

2011 Hewitt Health Care Lecture from Mike Dean on Vimeo.

To mark ObamaCare’s birthday, Pioneer released a white paper on the Massachusetts exchange.  Fixing the Massachusetts Health Exchange looks at what’s working – and what’s not – in Massachusetts.  It offers seven concrete steps to fix it.  Read the paper and coverage of it in the Boston Globe:

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

http://www.boston.com/news/hea…

We are really pleased to have Virginia Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson in Boston for an event next Tuesday, 3/29, called “The Liberal Arts & Closing Achievement Gaps.” Timely as always, the New York Times has been hosting a bit of a debate between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs about academics and workforce training.  Should the focus of K-12 and college education focus on developing “marketable” workforce skills, or are we in the business of enabling citizens to be free and pursue a fulfilling life? Jim Stergios blogs on the Jobs-Gates debate here:

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Space is still available, so to see more details and RSVP, click here: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Gerard Robinson, the Keynote speaker, is Secretary of Education with the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was the president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), a national nonprofit whose mission is to actively support parental choice to empower families and to increase quality educational options for black children.  Introducing the Secretary will be Thomas Birmingham, Senior Counsel, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, former President of the Massachusetts Senate, and co-author of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993. Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy, Democrats for Education Reform will moderate a roundtable discussion on the role of a liberal arts education in closing achievement gaps. Panelists include E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Chairman and Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation, Monty Neill, Interim Executive Director, Fair Test, and Tony Wagner, Co-Director of the Change Leadership Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lastly, enter our Better Government Competition for your chance to win $10,000. The deadline is fast approaching (April 4th). Details here:

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

We hope that you’ll visit us at: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…  

And consider becoming more involved in our important work.

~ Attend our events

~ Sign up for our e-updates http://server1.streamsend.com/…

~ Like us (and comment!) on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Pionee…

~ Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/PioneerBoston and/or

~ Make a donation http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

 

About Pioneer_Institute

This Week at Pioneer

Many thanks to Red Mass Group and your readers for insightful commentary on the issues of the day, and for your interest in Pioneer Institute. We are honored by the opportunity to give you a regular report on our programs and research. We hope that you’ll visit us at: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Consider becoming more involved in our work by coming to our events, signing up for our e-updates http://server1.streamsend.com/… liking us (and commenting!) on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Pionee…  following us on Twitter http://twitter.com/PioneerBoston and/or making a donation http://www.pioneerinstitute.or… .

We have an ambitious agenda, including (but not limited to):

> high-quality academic standards and more school choice;

> creating jobs and making Massachusetts more business friendly;

> reforming Massachusetts’ health care system.  

For this kick-off report, I have four big updates for you on education, health care, better government, and a welcome addition to the Pioneer team.

1. Education: Today, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, Pioneer is hosting an engaging event on Catholic education in Massachusetts, and expanding school choice. Our research, just released today (“Be Not Afraid”: A History of Catholic Schooling in Massachusetts) http://www.pioneerinstitute.or… shows that Catholic education is a proven success. Student performance is higher in Archdiocese of Boston schools than state and national averages, but the schools face financial challenges. The paper offers two key recommendations to Massachusetts lawmakers that would help more families benefit from the high-quality, low-cost learning environment that Catholic schools provide:

> Repeal the Know-Nothing Amendments, which are legal barriers preventing more kids from attending private school – they date back to the 1800s and anti-Irish bigotry, and they continue largely because of political reasons.

> Enact legislation to authorize tax credits to enable low-income students to attend private schools. Numerous states, including Rhode Island, have implemented programs successfully, and a coalition of religious and policy leaders are working to adopt a program here in Massachusetts.

Check out this article published in this Sunday’s edition of the Boston Herald (“Tax Credits Pushed for Private School Families”) http://www.bostonherald.com/ne… and this link, http://www.mediafire.com/?gfhi… to listen to Jamie Gass, Pioneer’s Director of the Center for School Reform, and Raymond Flynn, former Ambassador to the Vatican, discuss this topic on Dan Rea’s WBZ radio show. They are scheduled to go on Tom & Todd this Friday, so stay tuned! And we are expecting to place op-eds in several regional newspapers, as well.  

2. Health Care Initiative: Last Wednesday, Pioneer held its annual Hewitt Health Care Lecture. This was our most well-attended and engaging Hewitt event to date, featuring a debate between two high-profile health care policy experts, Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Dr. Jonathan Gruber, and moderated by Charlie Baker. You can read more about the speakers and view a clip of highlights here: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

At this event, we released our latest health care paper, Fixing the Massachusetts Health Exchange, which offers seven recommendations for how to reform the Massachusetts Connector so that it attracts more non-subsidized enrollees. You can read the paper here:

http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

3. Enter Pioneer’s 20th annual Better Government Competition by April 4th for your chance to win $10,000! Click here for the guidelines (and don’t let this year’s theme intimidate you): http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

If you have an idea for a proposal but you’re not sure whether to submit it, give us a call or email our BGC director Shawni Littlehale:

Tel.: 617-723-2277 ext. 207

slittlehale@pioneerinstitute.org

4.  Last but definitely not least, please join us in welcoming Erin Blake as our new Development Director. Some of you know Erin from her previous (highly successful) fundraising experiences, and you may be hearing from her soon! You can read her bio here: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

5. Pioneer Executive Director Jim Stergios was on Chronicle Monday night to discuss unions, collective bargaining, and the implications of Wisconsin’s new law for Massachusetts.

During his interview with Anthony Everett, Jim distinguished between collective bargaining on salaries and health care benefits, urging public employees to transition to the state’s Group Insurance Commission to reduce costs. “Health care benefits after you retire up until the time you die, where we haven’t even set aside any money for that at the state level or at the local level, is impossible,” Jim said.

Here’s the link to watch a clip (Jim appears at 3:20):

http://www.thebostonchannel.co…

Before the show aired, Jim debated Paul Toner, President of the Massachusetts Teachers Union, at a Northeastern University forum as part of an education course taught by former State Senate President Thomas Birmingham, co-author of the landmark 1993 Massachusetts Education Reform Act (MERA).

Over the past few weeks, Jim has been hitting the airwaves to offer analysis on the collective bargaining showdown in Wisconsin, and the potential savings from a reform effort here in the Bay State. WBUR’s Bob Oakes hosted a debate between Pioneer’s Executive Director Jim Stergios and the MTA’s Paul Toner. Here’s that link:

http://www.wbur.org/2011/02/28…

“Wisconsin has hit a nerve because in places like Massachusetts, like Wisconsin, we’re broke. The Governor’s budget depends on pushing out billions of dollars in pension payments to 2040, onto our kids,” Jim said.  

About Pioneer_Institute

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*