Heritage Foundation’s Jonathan Butcher on Edu Federalism, School Choice, Learning Pods

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. They discuss the growing popularity of learning pods, an education innovation propelled by K-12 public education’s failure to meet the COVID-19 moment. With as many as three million children enrolled in learning pods, 35 percent of parents participating in them, and another 18 percent interested in joining one, Butcher shares findings from his report on the role of pods in expanding parent-driven educational choice options. He reviews states’ responses to learning pods, as well as school choice legislation in some states that can help expand educational opportunity to families in need. The conversation then turns to the key findings from a spring 2020 report co-authored by Cato, Heritage, Pioneer Institute, and others, Rightsizing Fed Ed: Principles for Reform and Practical Steps to Move in the Right Direction, which provides a blueprint for restoring K-12 schooling authority to states, localities, and parents. Butcher also offers thoughts on how states and districts will spend federal COVID-19 relief funds, and be held accountable, the record of federally driven early childhood education efforts, and the Biden administration’s recent call to expand federal early childhood education and care.

Stories of the Week: President Biden announced the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion plan to expand America’s K-12 system, from two years before kindergarten to free community college. In South Carolina, a bill passed by the House of Representatives expands the state superintendent’s authority to remove local school boards and take over struggling schools in chronically low-performing districts.

The next episode will air on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 at 12 pm ET with guest, Melvin Urofsky, Professor of Law & Public Policy and Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Commonwealth University, and the author of several books, including Louis D. Brandeis: A Life and Dissent and the Supreme Court.

Guest:
Jonathan Butcher is the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation. He has researched and testified on education policy and school choice programs around the U.S. In 2019, Jonathan co-edited and wrote chapters in the book The Not-So-Great Society, which provides conservative solutions to the problems created by the ever-expanding federal footprint in preschool, K-12, and higher education. Earlier this year, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster nominated Jonathan to serve on the board for the South Carolina Public Charter School District, a statewide charter school authorizer. In 2018 the Federal Commission on School Safety cited his comments in the commission’s final report. He has appeared on local and national TV outlets, including C-SPAN, Fox News, and HBO’s Vice News Tonight, and he has been a guest on many radio programs. His commentary has appeared nationally in places such as the Wall Street Journal, Education Week, National Review Online, Newsweek.com, and Forbes.com, along with newspapers around the country.

Tweet of the Week:

News Links:

Bill allowing state to dissolve boards of failing SC schools close to becoming law

https://www.thestate.com/article250804869.html

Biden says K-12 education isn’t working — calls for free pre-K to “grade 14”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-speech-education-free-pre-k-grade-14/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=117531622

Get new episodes of The Learning Curve in your inbox!

Browse recent episodes of Pioneer podcasts:

Forsaking Massachusetts’s Miracle: Risking Our Future With Past Mistakes

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Greg Sullivan, Research Director at Pioneer Institute and author of Back to Taxachusetts?, about the link between Massachusetts’s decision to reduce tax rates and a generation-long economic renaissance - and the reasons why new taxes such as the proposed, so-called "Fair Share Amendment" risk taking us back to economic stagnation or decline.  

Yuliya Tarasava Invests In Americans Who Need It Most

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Yuliya Tarasava, immigrant from Belarus and cofounder and chief operating officer at CNote, a platform that helps facilitate investment in financially underserved communities across America.

Columbia’s Prof. Nicholas Lemann on the Great Migration, the SAT, & Meritocracy

This week on “The Learning Curve," guest co-host Kerry McDonald talks with Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus of the Columbia School of Journalism, and author of the books, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America, and The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy.

Doctors With Borders: Curing Shortages With International Lifeline

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Cicero Institute’s Jonathan Wolfson about the growing doctor shortage and the potential to alleviate the crisis by tapping the global supply of well-trained physicians eager to find safety and freedom in the US.

Jackie Krick Trains the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Jackie Krick, immigrant from Colombia and founder, president and CEO of ECU Communications in Manassas, Virginia. They discuss the entrepreneurial spirit of the newest Americans - immigrants - and why they are twice as likely to start a business and create jobs.

Harvard Law Prof. Cass Sunstein on “The World According to Star Wars”

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Cass Sunstein, the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, and the author of The New York Times best-selling book, The World According to Star Wars. He shares what drew him to this topic, and why, after 45 years, these movies have become a $70 billion multimedia franchise and continue to have such wide intergenerational appeal.

Progressive Policy Study: Californians Dreamin’ While Jobs and People Leavin’

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with California Policy Center president Will Swaim about how the state’s ambitious policies have combined to stick its residents with the highest cost of living and a tax regime that discourages investment, innovation, and its vital entrepreneurial class.

Artur Sousa’s Social Entrepreneurship Pays Off

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Artur Sousa, immigrant from Brazil and founder and CEO of Adopets, an online platform that simplifies the work done by shelters and improves the pet adoption experience. Adopets has over 40,000 registered users and maintains more than 300,000 adoption listings.

Hoover at Stanford’s Dr. Eric Hanushek on NAEP, PISA, International Comparisons in Education

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Dr. Hanushek shares how he first became interested in the economics of education, his plans for the nearly $4 million in funding from the prestigious Yidan Prize, which he received in 2021, and where he sees the greatest need for additional research in education.

Student Debt Cancellation: Paying For Your Neighbors’ College Education

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with education financing expert Mark Kantrowitz about the $1.6 trillion in U.S. public student debt - who owes it, who stands to benefit from the Biden administration's recent promise for across-the-board student debt reductions, and what strategies are available to target only those most in need.

Karina Calderon on How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Help Cities Grow

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Karina Calderon, deputy director of The Lawrence Partnership, about her work to help immigrant entrepreneurs drive economic growth in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The Lawrence Partnership is a collaboration of business and civic leaders started in 2015 that helps by incubating, training, assisting, loaning, basically doing everything they and their partners can to grow the city’s businesses.

Harvard Mathematician Prof. Wilfried Schmid on K-12 Standards & Results

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Wilfried Schmid, Dwight Parker Robinson Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, who played a major role in drafting the 2000 Massachusetts Mathematics Curriculum Framework and served on the U.S. National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) in 2008.

Invisible Hand Revealed: Economic Lessons in Everyday Life

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Matthew Hennessey, Wall Street Journal editor and author of Visible Hand, A Wealth of Notions on the Miracle of the Market, about how the principles of economics manifest themselves in our every day lives and how we can use that insight to better understand our personal and civic choices.

UC-Berkeley Prof. Robert Alter on the Hebrew Bible’s Wide Literary Influence

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Robert Alter, Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and author of the landmark three-volume book, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary.

Zoning Reform Revisited: Local Control Determines How, Not If, Housing Gets Built

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer research associate Andrew Mikula about the need for affordable housing near the mass transit network and the requirements and local design opportunities of the 3A zoning reform law. Read Pioneer Institute's recent public comment on this topic.

Evan Silverio Builds Upon Immigrant Mother’s Business Success

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Evan Silverio, child of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, President and CEO of Silverio Insurance Agency, and founder of Diverse Real Estate, both in Lawrence, Massachusetts.