[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.

Analysis: Can We Build Better Teachers?

Farmington Public Schools' Union Contract

Online Learning Can Improve Michigan Public Education

Schooling the MEA in Basic Economics

East Lansing Schools Union Contract

Nearly every aspect of a teacher's job falls under the rules of a union contract. The following is an analysis of the current collective bargaining agreement for teachers and a few other employee groups in the East Lansing School District… more

Teacher Contracts: An Analysis

Nearly every aspect of a teacher’s job falls under the rules of a union contract. The following is a synopsis of the agreement for Fruitport Community Schools. … more

Debating Failing Schools

What MEAP Scores Mean

Detailed Analysis of Western's Teacher Contract

The following is a detailed analysis of the current Western School District teacher contract. The district employs 180 teachers and enrolls 2,900 students. Of its $22 million operating budget, 90 percent goes toward employee compensation. … more

'Survey of Pain' Says Taxpayers Need to Hurt More

The Michigan School Business Officials and a tax-increase advocacy group called "Save Our Students, Schools and State," have released results from a canvass of 300 school districts, dubbed the "Survey of Pain." Tax hikes are proposed to alleviate the pain, but official data on the economy and Michigan's tax system cast considerable doubt on Michigan's ability to afford their remedy. … more