[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, Felix the fox and the Harrisons, a family of red-tailed hawks.

Virtual Learning in Michigan’s Schools

MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals. … more

Analysis: Schools Health Insurance and Corporate Welfare

A Virtual Learning Revolution

Average Eaton Rapids Teacher’s Salary $55,826 ; Contributes Just 2 Percent for Health Plan

Lake Orion Teachers Health Benefits 52 Percent Above Private-Sector Average

Are Intermediate School Districts Bloated?

Traverse City Schools Set Transparency Precedent

ISD Bloat Redux

Brighton Teacher Contract Summary

Analysis: Detroit Students Hostages to the Union

Huron Valley Teacher Contract Summary

ISD Bloat?

The number of school employees for each student in Michigan's public school system has been rising for most of the past 15 years, and stands now at one employee for every eight students. This is surprising given Michigan's declining economy over the last decade, and the school establishment's perpetual complaints of being underfunded… more

New State Data Shows Michigan Public Schools Spent Record Amount Per Student

Teachers Picket as One of Michigan's Wealthiest School Districts Faces Big Deficit

Analysis: Pseudo School 'Cuts'

Recaps of New Teachers Union Contracts

Many school boards around the state are attempting to renegotiate contracts with their local teachers unions to contain costs. Here's a brief recap of some of the new contracts agreed to this last month. … more

Consolidating School Districts Won’t Save Michigan $600 Million

Analysis: We Still Need to Reform Teacher Pay

Analysis: Consolidating School Districts Won’t Save Michigan $600 Million

Analysis: Detroit Public Schools Students Bear the Pain of Limited Educational Opportunities

A freshman at a Detroit high school experienced a disturbing first day: Two fellow students were shot on their way home from school Tuesday. Not surprisingly, he doesn't want to return to the school, but the state has effectively limited his chances of finding a better and safer learning environment. … more

Michigan Public School Health Insurance Costs Soar Above National Trends

Common School Funding Myths

The Unstable Funding Myth

The Sales Tax and Lottery Myth

The School Employee Concession Myth

Analysis: Merit Pay in Mt. Clemens?

Mona Shores Teacher Contract Summary

"Edujobs" Fact Check, Part II

'EduJobs' Fact Check

The Unequal Funding Myth

St. Joseph Teacher Contract Summary

August in Michigan Is Teacher Freedom Month

The Class Size Myth

New State Data Shows Michigan Public Schools Spent Record Amount Per-Student

The Sales Tax and Lottery Myth

Wayne-Westland Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Walled Lake Teacher Contract Analysis

The Unequal Funding Myth

Are Public Schools Underfunded? No

Districts Save With Health Savings Accounts

The Unstable Funding Myth

The Unstable Funding Myth

Traverse City Teacher Contract: Summary and Analysis

Analysis: Another LIFO Victim