[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.

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