[Photo of Mary F. Gifford]

Mary F. Gifford

Director of Leadership Development

Mary Gifford was the director of leadership development at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Prior to joining the Mackinac Center, Gifford directed the Center for Market-Based Education at the Goldwater Institute, a Phoenix-based public policy research organization. Mary also served on the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools as its vice president for three years. Gifford is among the country's experts in charter school operation and policy.

In addition to charter schools, Gifford has published papers and conducted research on desegregation, class size, school facility financing, value-added assessment, school finance reform, ethnicity of schools of choice, teacher issues and tuition tax credits.

Gifford holds master's degrees in education and public administration and a bachelor of art's degree in political science.

By Mary F. Gifford

Onerous School Regulations on WNEM TV-5

Mary Gifford identifies onerous school regulations on WNEM TV-5. … more

Mackinac Center Asks Teachers, School Administrators to Find Most Outrageous School Regulations, Rules

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is asking Michigan teachers, school principals, administrators and parents to help in its research on confusing, conflicting and overlapping mandates that hamper the operation of Michigan school districts, by coming up with the most outrageous school regulation or rule they can find. … more

Graduation rates an imperfect measure of school excellence

Graduation Rates an Imperfect Measure of School Excellence

Policy-makers at all levels of government are enacting policies that require districts to measure student and school performance. But one popular method of measurement, graduation rates, may not accurately reflect either student proficiency or school excellence. The only sure way to know whether schools are providing a quality education is to introduce more choice and competition into the system, so that schools have incentives to improve. … more

How Does the MEAP Measure Up?

How effective are current standardized education tests, principally the Michigan Education Assessment Program (MEAP), in gauging the efficacy of our public education system? And are there currently too many incentives placed on MEAP performance? … more

Less Government, Not More, Is Key to Academic Achievement and Accountability

A comprehensive new study of Arizona charter schools suggests that proposals to increase government regulation of charter schools in Michigan could stifle, not encourage, student achievement and school accountability. … more

PBS Doesn't Tell Whole Story on Schools

The recently aired, million-dollar PBS series, "SCHOOL: The story of American Public Education" purports to provide viewers with an unbiased history of public education in America. But not surprisingly, with programs produced by a network run by government interests, Americans are treated to the government's point of view. … more

System fails to educate students adequately

Bush's education package threatens local control