[Photo of Michael Van Beek]

Michael Van Beek

Director of Research

Michael Van Beek is director of research for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He joined the Mackinac Center in June 2009 as director of education policy. He has authored several studies for the Center as well as analysis and commentaries that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Grand Rapids Press, The Oakland Press and elsewhere.

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.

Van Beek obtained his Master of Arts in American history from Purdue University and his Bachelor of Arts in history from Hope College.

He lives in Midland, Mich., with his wife, three children, a dog and an assortment of semi-domesticated creatures, including a coyote named Gandalf, a fox named Felix and the Harrisons, a family of red-tail hawks.

Union's Scare Tactics Exposed

Myths about privatization fail to materialize. … more

Michigan Lags Nation on School Choice

Progress in Great Lake State, but more can be done. … more

Oxford Community Schools: The Great Recession — and the 'Greatest Gift'

In this first installment of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's new "Schools of Innovation" series, we begin with Oxford Community Schools' experiment with virtual learning. This study examines the district's adoption of Web-based learning to deliver and enhance student instruction. The effectiveness of virtual learning and the resulting increase in district enrollment have fueled the expansion of other school programs — a marked contrast to the many Michigan school districts that have struggled to maintain their offerings during the state's economic slump. … more

Making the Whole Class Flip: The Online Learning Revolution

Educrats Spin Conspiracy Theories

Charter public schools, parental choice threaten monopoly. … more

Where A Pay Freeze Is a Pay Raise

Teacher contracts use interesting math. … more

Charter Schools Average Smaller Class Sizes

Less top heavy than conventional schools, too. … more

The Source of Schools' Pension Problems

Misleading comments a disservice to taxpayers. … more

Reform Needed to Curb Rising School District Debt Levels

Two Bills, Two Standards

Helmet laws and "cyber" schools. … more

'Flipped Classrooms' Aid Student Learning

"Results speak for themselves" … more

Tuition Subsidies Offer Too Few Benefits

Michigan Should Reform School Lending System

How Cost Effective Are Michigan’s Universities?

What they spend per degree completed. … more

Bloated Teacher Contracts Much To Blame For Issues In Highland Park, Muskegon

Why the 'Michigan2020' Plan is a Poor Investment

More subsidies for college won't increase graduation rates. … more

School Districts in Deficit are Top Heavy

Spend 43 percent more on administration than state average. … more

Remove Needless Mandates on Teachers

Additional training has shown no impact on student performance. … more

Public School Welcomes All

(Unless they're from Detroit.) … more

Digital Learning Day

How schools are using technology to improve education. … more

MEA's Hyperbole About Cyber Charter Schools

Teachers union math gets a failing grade. … more

Online Charter School Spending Trends

How do they compare to brick-and-mortar schools? … more

Bureaucrats vs. Parents — Who Should Choose Where Children Are Educated?

The Unequal School Funding Myth

The latest in an ongoing video series. … more

Commentary: Charter Schools Face Discrimination in Michigan

The Debate About Online Charter Schools

Objections are easily refuted. … more

'We Found a Place Where Our Children's Safety Would Never Be An Issue'

National School Choice Week

Good for parents, student, teachers and taxpayers. … more

Opposition to Online Charters Misguided

Savings can benefit students and educators. … more

A Digital Learning Success Story

Suttons Bay Schools an innovation leader. … more

Schools Should Fund Learning, Not Insurance Companies

Connecticut School Leaders Propose Bold Reforms

Michigan counterparts should take notice. … more

Arbitrary Cap on Charter Schools Lifted

Mackinac Center introduced concept in 1988. … more

School Choice Advocates Cheer Lift of Charter Public School Cap

Cherry-Picking Charter School Research

Broader look at data needed. … more

Charters Increase Special-Ed Enrollment

Decrease in special-ed enrollment for conventional schools. … more

The Difference With Charter Schools

Parents, not politicians, should make the choice. … more

Free Press Misleads on Charter Schools

Editorial claims parental choice is "dangerous." … more

Brookings Institution: Expand School Choice

Michigan should pay attention to study's findings. … more

It's for the Children

Does the MEA only care about certain students? … more

Digital Learning Growth in Michigan

Legislators should pay attention to increased enrollment. … more

Nation's Report Card

Bad news for Michigan. … more

Michigan's 'Very Best' Schools Only 'Above Average'

Global report card paints stark picture. … more

Commentary: Research Shows Parental Choice Works

Jalen Rose: An Education Entrepreneur

Former basketball star opens charter public school. … more

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Spend $25 Billion to Fix It

Virtual learning should mean less money, not more, spent on schools buildings. … more

Professionalizing the Teaching Profession

Right-to-work law for teachers on the horizon. … more

A Smaller Cadillac Is Still a Cadillac

New government employee insurance cap is still 46 percent higher than private-sector average. … more

Michigan School Exporting Education to China