Director of Education Policy
Michael Van Beek joined the Mackinac Center in June 2009 as director of education policy. In this position, Van Beek oversees the Center's education research and publications, including Michigan Education Digest and Michigan Education Report.
For four years prior to working at the Center, Van Beek taught political philosophy, government, economics and history at North Hills Classical Academy, a private primary and secondary school in Grand Rapids. He also served one year as a North Hills assistant administrator, assisting with a wide variety of school issues, including budgets, curriculum and teacher-administrator relationships.
Van Beek obtained his Master of Arts in American history in 2005 from Purdue University, where he also held teaching assistantships. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 2003 from Hope College and was twice honored as the top student in the history department. In his senior year, Van Beek was voted captain of the Hope College varsity baseball team, and he was later selected the league's most valuable player by the baseball coaches of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Van Beek lives in Midland, Mich., with his wife, son and daughter.
By Michael Van Beek
Virtual learning is not for every student, but it’s not science fiction, either. Right now in Michigan, it’s being used by thousands of students in hundreds of virtual courses in urban, rural and suburban school districts. In fact, Michigan has been seen as a national leader in virtual learning.
This study analyzes the financial costs and academic benefits of virtual learning, and it explores how this innovation could further benefit Michigan public school students. … more