This Week at Pioneer



Urban and Rural Poverty and Student Achievement in Massachusetts

There’s always been a great deal of focus in education policy on addressing the plight of poor students in urban communities. But Pioneer recognizes that many of the Bay State’s poor children live in rural areas as well, and we need to ensure that they get a high-quality education, too. That’s why we produced a new report, Urban and Rural Poverty and Student Achievement in Massachusetts. Some findings are not a surprise (there’s an achievement gap among low-income and higher income students in both urban and rural areas), but other data are surprising, such as the impressive improvement rate among low-income, rural students. Read the press release here: http://pioneerinstitute.org/pd…

Of course, Massachusetts’ K-12 students still outperform the rest of the country, which is why we continue to defend the standards and curriculum that made our number one ranking possible – and why we continue to question state education leaders’ decision to sign on to weaker, untested national education standards developed by DC trade organizations and funded by Gates. Jim Stergios’ latest Rock the Schoolhouse blog presents some damning new financial info showing that the groups we relied on for “independent” evaluation of the Gates-funded national standards that was so central to our decision to adopt the standards are also getting major funding from the very same Gates Foundation. Conflict of interest, anyone? Read it here:  http://boston.com/community/bl…

Join us for a free, public forum on “The Power of the US Supreme Court: A Civics Lesson,” with Clinton White House speechwriter Jeff Shesol, presidential historian Willard Sterne Randall, and pollster David Paleologos on Thursday, May 10, 2012 – 3:00 – 6:00 pm at the Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Boston, MA. Public policy polling data on US history MCAS will be released at this event.  A panel of experts will also discuss the proper role of US history-civics in K-12 schooling in Massachusetts and the nation. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by next Thursday, May 3rd to Brian Patterson at 617-723-2277, ext. 217 or

bpatterson at pioneerinstitute.org

AEI Scholar Michael Greve addressed a large audience of Pioneer and Federalist Society members yesterday on the themes covered by his new book, The Upside-Down Constitution.

Check out our photo album and video from yesterday’s event:

http://www.facebook.com/media/…

http://youtu.be/hqsPWvY7iA4

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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This Week at Pioneer



Is RomneyCare a Budget Buster? Chart: State share of new and redirected spending on health care reform

Pioneer Health Care Policy Director Josh Archambault raised some key questions about a Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) report that came out late last week. The report oversimplified the cost of Massachusetts’ 2006 health reform, citing annual costs of $91 million. In his blog post, Josh lays out why that number is highly questionable, and says the focus should be on the state share of the health reform as a percentage of the new and redirected spending (see chart): http://www.pioneerinstitute.or… and here’s the Boston Globe story on it: http://bostonglobe.com/lifesty…

Last week, some celebrated the anniversary of RomneyCare, claiming it is the model for ObamaCare, but Manhattan Institute scholar Avik Roy cited our new book,

The Great Experiment
, in pointing out key differences between the two laws. In Forbes and National Review, he concluded, “the federal Affordable Care Act is modeled after the Democratically implemented version of the Massachusetts law, as opposed to the one that Romney had sought.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ar…

http://www.nationalreview.com/…

Download a free chapter from The Great Experiment, “Competing Visions for Massachusetts: Health Reform,” by Jennifer Heldt Powell: http://greatexperiment.org/dow…

The Washington Post published a slideshow using charts from our new book, The Great Experiment, on Six Ways RomneyCare Changed Massachusetts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/…

School reform: Jim Stergios looks at the success of school choice programs in improving New Orleans’ student achievement in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and writes: “The question for Massachusetts is why can’t we apply the same reform to Lawrence? Its performance is every bit as bad as was New Orleans before the natural disaster that hit the city. Do we have to wait for an act of god before we act?

http://boston.com/community/bl…

Join us for a forum on “The Power of the US Supreme Court: A Civics Lesson,” with Clinton White House speechwriter Jeff Shesol, presidential historian Willard Sterne Randall, and pollster David Paleologos

Thursday, May 10, 2012 – 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Boston, MA

Public policy polling data on US history MCAS will be released at this event.

A panel of experts will also discuss the proper role of US history-civics in K-12 schooling in Massachusetts and the nation.

This event is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be served.

Please RSVP by Thursday, May 3rd to Brian Patterson at 617-723-2277, ext. 217 or

bpatterson at pioneerinstitute.org

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 http://pioneerinstitute.org/ev…

– 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.org/get_involved.php

About Pioneer_Institute

This Week at Pioneer



Join us on May 10th for a timely forum on “The Power of the US Supreme Court: A Civics Lesson,” with Clinton White House speechwriter Jeff Shesol, author of Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court; Founding era historian, Willard Sterne Randall; and pollster par excellence, David Paleologos. Details: http://pioneerinstitute.org/ev…

Thursday, May 10, 2012 – 3:00 – 6:00 pm

Omni Parker House, 60 School Street, Boston, MA

RSVP bpatterson at pioneerinstitute.org

As this event illustrates, Pioneer believes in lively, but civil, debates among experts with different viewpoints. That’s just what we had last week at our annual Hewitt Healthcare Lecture featuring Dr. Don Berwick, and James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Check out the photo album here. http://www.facebook.com/media/… We’ll post video soon. Read coverage on Boston.com and Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ar…

http://www.boston.com/Boston/w…

Pioneer’s health care policy director Josh Archambault asks: How Much Do Same-Sex Marriage & Health Care Overlap Constitutionally? Read it here: http://www.pioneerinstitute.or…

Steve Poftak was quoted in an AP story on the MBTA and “Big Dig Debt”:

“There is a lot of cynicism built up, rightly or wrongly, from the Big Dig,” he said. “People are very skeptical of the state’s ability to do a good job with transportation dollars.”

http://boston.cbslocal.com/201…

Wondering “What Exactly Is “Big Dig Debt”? Find out here: http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

Steve writes regularly on transportation issues, on Boston Daily. Check out his other posts here:

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

Buy our new health care policy book, The Great Experiment, today: http://greatexperiment.org/

We received over 100 Better Government Competition entries! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. It’s one thing to complain, quite another to take a positive and proactive step toward reform. Congrats to those of you who made the effort!

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

The MBTA votes today on a 23% fare hike and service cuts. Pioneer’s Steve Poftak has worked to help bring about more transparency, accountability, and performance-based decision-making to the T. Check out his most recent blog posts at Boston Daily:

The Political Elegance of the MBTA’s Deficit Solution

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

And other recent MBTA-related posts:

http://blogs.bostonmagazine.co…

Pioneer’s Jim Stergios and Josh Archambault offer some health care policy advice for Governor Romney:

Romney’s second shot at healthcare reform

http://blogs.reuters.com/great…

Watch this clip of Josh Archambault discussing Pioneer’s new book, The Great Experiment, with Chris Lovett of BNN News. http://greatexperiment.org/



Buy the book today: http://greatexperiment.org/

It seems some folks are confused as to what is and is not “unprecedented” about the Supreme Court‘s power to strike down unconstitutional laws, and could benefit from a discussion on SCOTUS history. Pioneer is happy to oblige –

Save the Date: On May 10th, join us for a forum on “The Power of the US Supreme Court: A Civics Lesson,” with Willard Sterne Randall, Presidential Historian, and Jeff Shesol, Clinton White House speechwriter and author of “Supreme  Power: Franklin Roosevelt and the Supreme Court.” Pollster par excellence David Paleologos will present data on public interest in US History. More details in coming weeks.

Jim Stergios, in National Review, Responds to Veep Biden’s Criticisms of Gov. Romney’s Manufacturing-jobs Record:

http://www.nationalreview.com/…

The deadline is this MONDAY to enter Pioneer’s 2012 Better Government Competition – 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!

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