[Photo of Ben DeGrow]

Ben DeGrow

Director of Education Policy

Ben DeGrow is the Mackinac Center’s director of education policy. 

DeGrow joined the Center in 2015 after a long stint at Colorado’s Independence Institute, where he provided expert analysis on school choice, school finance, collective bargaining and education employment policies. He authored numerous policy reports and opinion-editorials for various newspapers and other publications, and regularly appeared on radio and television and before legislative committees.

DeGrow graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in history from Hillsdale College, and went on to receive a master’s degree in history from Pennsylvania State University. Ben’s experiences in the classroom include service as a university graduate assistant and as a substitute teacher in Michigan public schools. He also spent nearly a year on the editorial staff of the Hillsdale Daily News.

Originally from Oakland County, DeGrow is excited to be back in his home state after 13 years in Colorado. He brings with him his wife and three daughters, as well as his undying loyalty to the Detroit Tigers.

Michigan Parents Satisfied with Education Choice

New study looks at the factors driving increased school choice … more

A Survey of Michigan Parents Who Use School Choice

This report highlights the results of a survey conducted of Michigan parents who exercise some form of public school choice for their children. Among the diverse group of 837 parents from across the state who were interviewed, substantial majorities gave high marks to their chosen schools, said the experience boosted their expectations of their children’s future success and would likely recommend choice options to other parents. Respondents also said that information they receive from other parents influences their school choice decisions, in addition to published school performance data and in-person visits. Survey results further revealed that most parents highly value academics in making their decision, though safety and discipline are leading considerations as well. … more

A “Not Welcome” Sign for Special-Needs Students

Nonresidents denied local special education dollars in 21 ISDs … more

Let Local Schools Decide Their Calendars

More districts seeking freedom from Labor Day mandate … more

Measuring Success in Alternative Education

Programs serving dropout risks need meaningful metrics too … more

Help for School Choice May Come From Washington

‘Public Education’ Not Easy to Define

Questions raised by rally for more school funding … more

Mackinac Center Publishes New Report to Simplify Complexities of Education Funding

How School Funding Works in Michigan can serve as resource for all stakeholders … more

How School Funding Works in Michigan

Discussions about school funding can create more confusion than clarity. Each state has its own intricacies and peculiarities. Michigan is no exception. Funding flows down from different sources, often based on different formulas and intended for different purposes. There’s no one unified system that controls school funding — rather, schools rely on a number of systems layered on top of each to supply them with resources.
This publication presents a brief overview of some of the key components of Michigan’s school funding system, if it can be called that. The goal is to provide a general understanding of how tax dollars reach schools and what they are intended for.  … more

Special Needs Families Deserve Transparency

Posting ISD special education plans enables sound decisions … more