Dr. Thomas F. Bertonneau is a senior education policy analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and an English instructor in the Central Michigan University Extended Degree Program. He is the author of the Center's 1996 report, Declining Standards at Michigan Public Universities.

He received his Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of California-Los Angeles in 1990. More than 20 of his articles and essays on ancient and modern poetry, the modern American novel, critical theory, anthropology, and pedagogy have appeared in a diverse array of scholarly journals including Sagetrib, William Carlos Williams Review, Wallace Stevens Journal, Studies in American Jewish Literature, North Dakota Quarterly, Michigan Academician, UCLA French Studies, and Profils Americains. Bertonneau has made more than 30 professional presentations of his work before various academies and associatioins. He was a featured presenter at the first Symposium on Generative Anthropology, UCLA, in 1990.

He is a member of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion, the Michigan Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters, the National Association of Scholars, and the Modern Language Association. Bertonneau has taught courses including American literature, literary theory, freshman composition, science fiction, mythology, and the poetry and prose of the romantic era, at UCLA, CMU, and in the CMU Extended Degree Program.

By Dr. Thomas F. Bertonneau

"Jobless Ph.D. for Hire: Will Teach Students Who Cannot Afford College"

"Jobless Ph.D. for Hire: Will Teach Students Who Cannot Afford College"

Permitting Ph. D.s to provide instruction for college credit in independent, off-campus settings would ease the glut of underemployed doctoral degree holders and make higher education much more accessible to poorer students. … more

Private Sector Schools Serve the Difficult-to-Educate

Private Sector Schools Serve the Difficult-to-Educate

Nonpublic schools and organizations are helping thousands of students with special needs, laying bare the myth that private schools only "skim the cream" and leave the toughest kids to the public schools. … more

Do Private Schools Serve Difficult-to-Educate Students?

Private K-12 schools are sometimes criticized for accepting only those students most likely to succeed academically, and for leaving the most difficult-to-educate children to the public school system. Is this true? The diversity of private schools includes those that serve exclusively at-risk, incarcerated, or disabled children. The report describes private schools that educate each of these populations, reviews how public schools are contracting with private schools to serve difficult-to-educate students, examines policy implications including cost and school choice, and presents six case studies of Michigan private schools that serve exclusively students with special needs. 71 page … more

High Time to Reverse Low Standards in Higher Education

Blame for the decline in literacy is often hung on K-12 public education. However, the university system that teaches the teachers should be made accountable for its contribution to K-12 educational problems. … more

Declining Standards at Michigan Universities

Reflecting a national problem, Michigan public universities are producing graduates who are unprepared for K-12 teaching careers and the business world. The demise of the traditional core curriculum, indoctrination in the classroom, and questionable teaching methods that emphasize emotion and subjectivity over rigor and critical thinking are to blame. The study documents extensive evidence cited by employers that college graduates lack crucial communications and thinking skills, and it finds a link between poor training of aspiring teachers and declining K-12 student performance. Analysis of over 300 undergraduate course syllabi reveal the dominance of trendy, politicized course content. 88 pages. … more

Alice in Mandate Land

Proposed core curriculum from Lansing is more of the same fuzzy thinking that has produced declining achievement scores and increasing functional illiteracy in the schools. … more