[Photo of Audrey Spalding]

Audrey Spalding

Director of Education Policy

Audrey Spalding is the director of education policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. In this position, Spalding oversees the Center's education research and publications, including Michigan Education Digest and Michigan Education Report. She started at the Center in 2012 as an education policy analyst.

Before joining the Mackinac Center, Spalding worked as a policy analyst at the St. Louis-based Show-Me Institute, where she provided analytical research and legislative testimony on tax credits, land banking and education. Her public policy op-eds have been published in a variety of newspapers, including The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, the Battle Creek Enquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Business Journal and The Kansas City Star.

Prior to her time at Show-Me, Spalding was an education reporter for the Columbia Missourian, where she was a co-recipient of the 2008 Missouri Press Association's Community Service Award for her efforts to highlight school district expenditures. 

Spalding received her bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri, having majored in both journalism and economics. She is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Top 10 Charter High Schools in 2014

Center's report card accounts for student background. … more

Flanagan Goes too Far on Charter Schools

State TTB ranking a proxy for poverty; Stanford study ignored. … more

Dr. Friedman's Vision for Education

A pioneer in school choice. … more

TTB a Poor Measure of Charter Performance

Free Press should use better metric. … more

How to Make Michigan Schools More Expensive

Mark Schauer's education plan protects the status quo. … more

Michigan Education Association Misleading Voters

'Kids Not CEOs' website rife with misinformation. … more

More Problems with Ferndale Teacher Contract

Ignores state laws regarding seniority, evaluations. … more

Districts Asking for More Money Already Getting It

Mismanagement, not funding, deserves scrutiny. … more

Happy National School Choice Week!

Plenty of reasons to celebrate in Michigan. … more

Facts, Not Fiction, on State School Spending

K-12 spending up three consecutive years. … more

Michigan Students Need Private School Choice

Families want more options. … more

Commentary: Education: U.S. Spends More, Gets Less

American students near bottom on international test. … more

Michigan Land Bank Demolishes Eminem's Childhood Home

More than 100 bids, yet house burned down. … more

It's Time to Take Teaching Seriously

But more certification exams aren't the answer. … more

Private Group Helps Fill Gap During Slowdown

Library of Congress archives still accessible. … more

Flawed Study Says Michigan Cut School Funding

But it ignores billions of dollars. … more

It's About the Children, Not the System

Slate author, sadly, puts system above students. … more

At Thirkell, State Grade Doesn't Match Up

School posts impressive results despite low rank. … more

Berrien Springs: Leading the Way

Innovating outside of district boundaries. … more

Milton Friedman's Education Ideas Still Relevant Today

Comprehensive school schoice helps failing schools. … more

School Consolidation Won't Save Much

Other reforms would provide better results. … more

Top 10 Rural Elementary and Middle Schools

Michigan's top rural elementary and middle schools. … more

Top 10 Town Elementary and Middle Schools

Michigan's top town elementary and middle schools. … more

Top 10 Suburban Elementary and Middle Schools

Michigan's top suburban elementary and middle schools. … more

Top 10 City Elementary and Middle Schools

Michigan's top-performing city elementary and middle schools. … more

Top 10 Elementary and Middle Schools

Michigan's top-performing elementary and middle schools. … more

Stalking Students in Grosse Pointe

Evidence of a broken education system. … more

Land Bank May Take 163+ Properties

Grand Rapids might help group circumvent state law. … more

Promise of Profit Can Help Neediest Students

Charters helping those shortchanged by system. … more

Indy Land Bank Officials Indicted

Michigan needs to review land bank operations. … more

Close Dysfunctional Schools

Years of mismanagement unfair to students. … more

What Do Moms Want? School Choice

New survey shows large support for tuition tax credits. … more

Education Denied to 15K Walled Lake Students

Bus drivers call in "sick" today to protest privatization. … more

Land Bank Reform Bill Introduced

HB 4626 would penalize land banks for violating state law. … more

School Marketing is A-OK

Charters join school districts in attempt to boost enrollment. … more

'Land Bank Bailout' Is Rep. Kildee's First Bill

Congressman wants $1.9 billion for special interest projects. … more

EAA Could Take Over Successful Schools

Is state school ranking methedology flawed? … more

Kent County Considers Land Bank Changes

Private developers could get fair shot at foreclosures. … more

EAA Bill Has Problems

But Grand Rapids carve-out not one of them. … more

New Strategies Needed for Dealing With Blight

Turning over more property to land banks not the answer. … more

No Grand Rapids Carve-Out under EAA Bill

Progress Michigan critique not supported by facts. … more

Turnover Low in Highland Park Schools

Some teachers let go due to performance. … more

Variety Isn't Discrimination

Charters provide choices for students and parents. … more

Reducing 'Best Practices' Money Best for Taxpayers

Schools should be rewarded for student outcomes. … more

Subsidized Housing for Government Workers

Land bank deals should be extended to all buyers. … more

State Report: More Growth for Charter Students

Fails to account for number of low-income students served. … more

School Choice Benefits Students

Families deserve more options, not fewer. … more

Measuring the Value of Charter Schools

Bridge Magazine tries to compare charters to entire districts. … more

More Michigan Students Opt for School Choice

Center for Michigan "conversations" miss the mark. … more

Birmingham Latest District to Exploit Schools of Choice

Meeting state's "best practices" in name only. … more

Electric Car Owners Get a Free Ride in Ann Arbor

Another subsidy for those who can afford expensive EVs. … more

Lawsuit Against Highland Park Schools Misguided

ACLU should acknowledge changes the district has made. … more

School Officials Fearful of 'Segregation'

They should look at current system first. … more

Teachers Shouldn't Be Fired For Not Joining Union

Right-to-Work would protect those who choose not to. … more

Court Rules in Favor of Land Bank

Property can be sold to preferred buyers. … more

Only Two Counties Voted for Proposal 2

Prop 1 support found close to EM cities, schools. … more

Prop 1 Defeat a Loss for Struggling School Districts

Emergency managers losing vital tools. … more

Do Teachers Really Need More 'Protection?'

Violence and incompetence get you fired in the private sector. … more

New Graduation Requirements Mean Fewer Grads

Stricter standards impact lower students the most. … more

Who's Cheating Who?

Is Grosse Pointe Schools keeping state tax money? … more

Lawsuit Filed Against Kent County Land Bank

Vacant properties blocked from tax auction at its request. … more

The Easiest Way to Fire a Teacher

Not paying union dues can lead to quick dismissal. … more

Prop 2: An End to Teacher Tenure?

Certification requirements could also be ignored. … more

Why Statewide Education Policy Fails

One size fits all approach does not help students. … more

Students' ZIP Code Should Not Limit School Choice

"Private" public schools aim to keep students out. … more

Is 5076 Montauk Blighted?

Questions arise over how county land banks operate. … more

Grosse Pointe's Costly Nonresident Crackdown

District losing money by not accepting outside students. … more

Excuses Don't Change Facts

Three Livingston County schools do poorly on report card. … more

Count Day Could Become an Outdated Gimmick

School funding should follow student, even if they transfer. … more

Meaningful School Reform Needed

More state control is not the answer. … more

Land Bank Powers Abused, Costly to Taxpayers

Government shouldn't act as land speculators. … more

Debt Program for Public Schools Has Gone Too Far

Borrowing money to pay off borrowed money. … more

Per-Pupil Spending Little To Do With Performance

How money is spent is more important than how much. … more

High-Scoring High Schools

Top 10 counties listed. … more

Instead of Focusing on Gaps, Focus on Growth

The "achievement gap" leaves a gap in education. … more

Kent County Taxpayers Question Land Bank

Group alleges "crony government gone wild" in tax lien sale. … more

A Better Choice, Less Than a Mile Away

Displaced Detroit students have options. … more

More Money and More Problems

Highland Park's woes can't be blamed on lack of funding. … more

Detroit Charters Outperform DPS

When taking student backgrounds into account. … more

Highland Park Schools the Best Alternative?

Is Highland Park Schools the best choice for Detroit students? … more

$131,000 for Five Students?

Is this superintendent gaming the schools-of-choice program? … more

Highland Park Reform May Have to Begin With Finances

ACLU suit against emergency manager misses the mark. … more