This Week at Pioneer



The Massachusetts Transportation Dashboard (click pic to take it for a spin and tell us what you think (paging EdFactor!))

With talk of T fare increases and some calling for a gas tax hike, we think you deserve to know whether our state transportation leaders are wisely managing your billions in tax and fare dollars. So, we teamed up with Northeastern to present “The Massachusetts Transportation Dashboard,” a graphical snapshot of how MassDOT is doing at reducing congestion, increasing on-time performance, and improving the safety of roads and bridges across the state. Click the graphic to check out the dashboard, and read this brief guide, Introduction to the Massachusetts Transportation Dashboard and our press release here.

Education Commissioner Mitch Chester stepped in it again. This week, he put a Fitchburg charter school on probation based on the very AYP accountability measures that state education leaders are seeking federal waivers for. Then the Board voted to take the school off probation. This arbitrary decision-making smells as rotten as what went on with the Gloucester charter mess last year, and as Jamie Gass noted here it “has created a crisis of confidence in the commissioner’s ability to handle charter-school evaluations fairly.”

Charter schools have done more than any education policy to bridge achievement gaps in Mass. – so why is the Patrick Administration chipping away at this successful model? Check out Jim Stergios’ blog here.

Enter Pioneer’s 2012 Better Government Competition for your chance to win $10,000! We want your ideas for this year’s theme – federal programs that can be devolved to the states across the following policy areas: Education, Healthcare, Regulations, Urban Redevelopment, Transportation, Interstate Commerce, Banking and Finance, and any others you can think of.

Click here to learn more about the contest and three easy ways to enter!

Save these dates!

› Removing the Barriers: Virtual Schools and State Regulations (March 1, 2012)

› No More Know-Nothing Laws: School Choice in Massachusetts (March 15, 2012)

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 by:

– Attending our events

– Signing up for our e-updates http://visitor.r20.constantcon…  

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

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

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This Week at Pioneer



Enter Pioneer’s 2012 Better Government Competition for your chance to win $10,000! We want your ideas for this year’s theme – federal programs that can be devolved to the states across the following policy areas: Education, Healthcare, Regulations, Urban Redevelopment, Transportation, Interstate Commerce, Banking and Finance, and any others you can think of.

Click here to learn more about the contest and three easy ways to enter!



Massachusetts’ scheduled 31% unemployment rate hike on businesses already staggered by a deep, 4-year economic downturn is no way to create jobs, says Steve Poftak. Read his MetroWest Daily op-ed here.

The Patrick Administration released a new economic development plan, but have they learned any lessons from the Evergreen Solar mess? Read our Worcester Telegram & Gazette op-ed here.

Beware of state budget accounting gimmicks like the “negative expenditure” Steve Poftak found here.

This week, in honor of Martin Luther King, let’s think about how to expand educational opportunities for ALL schoolchildren. One way we can do that is through digital learning. Read our op-ed in the Lowell Sun  

What is the best way to evaluate teachers? Classroom observations? Student surveys? Test results? Jim Stergios gives his take in his Rock the Schoolhouse blog on Boston.com. Make it a regular stop!

Save the Date for two March education events that are free and open to the public:

› Removing the Barriers: Virtual Schools and State Regulations (March 1, 2012), a follow-up to our December virtual schools event. And,

› No More Know-Nothing Laws: School Choice in Massachusetts (March 15, 2012), featuring national school choice advocates Kevin Chavous and Jay Greene. Visit our events page for more details: 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 by:

– Attending our events

– Signing up for our e-updates http://visitor.r20.constantcon…  

– 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…

About Pioneer_Institute

This Week at Pioneer



Enter Pioneer’s 2012 Better Government Competition for your chance to win $10,000! As RMGers, you all spend a lot of time thinking about how to fix the problems created by Washington. If you share Pioneer’s belief that the federal government has too much control over a number of roles that should be done by the states, then we want your ideas for this year’s theme – federal programs that can be devolved to the states across the following policy areas: education, healthcare, Regulations, Urban Redevelopment, Transportation, Interstate Commerce, Banking and Finance, and any others you can think of.

Click here to learn more about the contest and three easy ways to enter!

Today, Mass. Education Commissioner Mitch Chester names a state receiver to take over the Lawrence Public Schools. Pioneer’s Jim Stergios says what Lawrence parents & kids really need is greater access to options with a proven track record of success, like charter schools, voc-techs, and private-school choice. Read his op-eds in: Lawrence Eagle Tribune and Lowell Sun

With each passing day, more questions arise about the true impact of ObamaCare. Pioneer’s Health Care Policy Director Josh Archambault digs deeper into the details for us. Read his commentary on the new $26.7 billion Medicaid waiver agreement between Massachusetts and the federal government – he finds some surprising details about where that money is going.

A Deeper Dive Into The New Medicaid Waiver

And, check out this piece: Hospitals struggling to provide care for patients without health coverage and juggling high debts hope the Affordable Care Act will alleviate problems

Steve Poftak has long been calling for MBTA improvements. Read his latest, “What Germany Can Teach the MBTA”

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

And “Your Money or Your Bus: A breakdown of the MBTA’s latest proposals”

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

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

And consider becoming more involved in our important work by:

– Attending our events

– Signing up for our e-updates http://visitor.r20.constantcon…  

– 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…

About Pioneer_Institute

This Week at Pioneer



Happy New Year, RMG!

What will 2012 look like for health care? Pioneer’s Health Care Policy Director Josh Archambault shared his predictions in this WBUR piece, “From Consumer Anger To The Supreme Court, 2012 In Health Care,” which also includes commentary from MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, former BIDMC CEO Paul Levy, Harvard School of Public Health’s John McDonough, and many other experts.

Read Josh’s Pioneer blog posts here: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

One topic we can all expect to hear a whole lot more about in the year to come is virtual learning, which lets students learn at their own pace. Read this New Bedford Standard-Times op-ed by William Donovan, author of Pioneer’s recent paper, Virtual Schools, Actual Learning:

http://www.southcoasttoday.com…

There are still many issues with digital learning that need to be ironed out, as Jim Stergios points out here “Some Lessons for Virtual Learning”. Constructive criticism of this new frontier in education is healthy, but the New York Times‘ recent hatchet job is not, and Jim doesn’t let the Grey Lady get away with it – read his Boston.com blog post, “Tough Times on Virtual Learning?”

Last week, the Globe’s Todd Wallack reported that the Patrick administration released a 34-page economic development plan to make the state more competitive, with 55 recommendations on education, entrepreneurship; investments in transportation projects, etc. But, Pioneer’s Steve Poftak asks, can they get it done? Read here:

http://articles.boston.com/201…

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

And consider becoming more involved in our important work by:

– Attending our events

– Signing up for our e-updates http://visitor.r20.constantcon…  

– 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…

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