Jonathan Butcher

Unique Florida learning option offers families safety, choice, peace of mind

Like a school, but better. That’s how Ali Kaufman, founder and CEO of Space of Mind, describes a revolutionary program that engages students, families, educators and the larger community in experiential learning. Kaufman’s brainchild, launched in 2004, is not a traditional school. Nor is it a tutoring center. It’s not[Read More…]

Fact-checking the pundits as a new school year begins

As students head back to school, we can check some predictions made last year about how COVID would change K-12 classrooms. First, teacher unions forecast that schools would close in large numbers without additional federal spending. In June 2020, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten told Fox News, “We[Read More…]

Answering the bullies of public school policy

If 2021 is to be different from 2020 for families of school-aged children, policymakers, parents and educators must have a conversation about bullying – not from fourth graders on the playground, but from the education special interest groups that are pushing parents around. Examples abound in West Virginia, where families[Read More…]

Education in a time of pandemic: Not making the grade

This commentary from redefinED guest blogger Jonathan Butcher, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, and center director Lindsey Burke, first appeared on Tribune News Service. When it comes to her daughter Emerson’s education, Sarrin Warfield says, she’s “in it to win it.” When Emerson’s assigned[Read More…]

Regulations found across U.S. may limit availability of learning pods, reduce parental choice

Sarrin Warfield received a “flurry” of information from her local district school over the summer on whether her child’s classes would be in-person or online. She was concerned about her daughter, Emerson, “sitting in front of a computer from 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., which we’ve really been intentional to[Read More…]

In staying closed, schools ignore low COVID-19 rates, needs of families

Editor’s note: This commentary from redefinED guest blogger Jonathan Butcher first appeared Oct. 21 on The Daily Signal. At what would normally be the end of the first academic quarter for most K-12 schools, millions of students still have not set foot in a classroom. Many haven’t done so since[Read More…]

With lawmakers not in session, bureaucrats should not regulate pods

Policymakers have a knack for finding private endeavors they presume still need fixing. The latest example? Learning pods. With many schools closed to in-person instruction this fall, many parents have quickly adapted, developing the pods to continue their children’s education. Now policymakers are catching up with rules and regulations. Learning[Read More…]

Union activities beg the question: How, specifically, is this going to make the education of children better?

“A sharp distinction must always be made between the physical survival of particular schools and the survival of the educational quality in those schools.” So writes American economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell in his latest book, Charter Schools and Their Enemies. If we measure analysis by its predictive abilities[Read More…]