Ryan S. Olson, D.Phil., was director of education policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich. for three years ending in 2008, and is currently a program director for a private philanthropic foundation.

Olson is lead coauthor of “A Michigan School Money Primer,” a 180-page overview of the Michigan school finance system. The book has won acclaim from school administrators, journalists and analysts around the state. His education policy commentaries, analyses and projects have been featured in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and numerous other Michigan newspapers, as well as on Michigan Public Television, Detroit’s WJR 760 AM, Michigan Radio and National Public Radio.

Olson received his doctorate in classical languages and literature from Oxford University in 2007. A product of Michigan elementary and secondary public schools, he earned a master’s degree from Oxford in Oriental studies and graduate degrees from Regent College in Vancouver and Durham University in the United Kingdom. He received his B.A. from North Park University.

In addition to his extensive studies, Olson has taught English composition at a private college in Michigan, tutored students in the humanities and classical Greek, and taught Roman history classes.

By Dr. Ryan S. Olson

Expand the Principles of Proposal A

How MESSA and the MEA Work

MEA Document Provides Interesting Details

Let the Union Buyer Beware

On average, union employees spent 41 percent of their time representing members, according to their own report. … more

The Opportunities of Education Tax Credits

Failing Children

Selective Moral Outrage

NCLB Falls Short of Helping Parents

Intermediate School Districts: Innovations that are Past Their Prime

A far more substantive reform would be for Michigan to join a cadre of states that provide specialized services by giving parents greater options. … more

A Michigan School Money Primer

It’s time to get serious about school employee pension reform

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Legislators: Listen to Detroit Parents

Parents and community groups must play an important role in increasing support for charter schools. … more

Time to Get Serious About School Employee Pension Reform

Private-sector employers are realizing defined-benefit systems like MPSERS do not serve today’s aging and mobile workforce. … more

Choice and Accountability in Public Schools

Double-but-nothing: More education spending hasn't yielded better results

Double-but-Nothing: More Education Spending Hasn't Yielded Better Results

Our educational institutions usually do not create incentives for instructional improvement by rewarding effective teachers and sanctioning ineffective ones. … more

Averaging Our Way to Average

Averaging Our Way to Average (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

The proposed mandate would substantially weaken the limited influence parents have in the current system. … more

A Voter’s Checklist for School Elections

Hope in state graduation standards misplaced

We’ve Only Just Begun?

Hope in State Graduation Standards Misplaced (Viewpoint on Policy Issues)

Given state bureaucrats’ lack of success implementing the law’s one existing requirement, we should not place much hope in an additional mandate to fix public education or improve the economy. … more

Require MESSA data-sharing to let districts shop around

Credit Conundrum

Jen and the art of education

MEA Goes Nuclear in Charter School Suit

Jen and the Art of Education