[Photo of Michael Van Beek]

Michael Van Beek

Director of Research

Michael Van Beek is director of research for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. He joined the Mackinac Center in June 2009 as director of education policy. He has authored several studies for the Center as well as analysis and commentaries that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, The Grand Rapids Press, The Oakland Press and elsewhere.

For four years prior to working at the Center, Van Beek taught political philosophy, government, economics and history at North Hills Classical Academy, a private primary and secondary school in Grand Rapids. He also served one year as a North Hills assistant administrator.

Van Beek obtained his Master of Arts in American history from Purdue University and his Bachelor of Arts in history from Hope College.

He lives in Midland, Mich., with his wife, three children, a dog and an assortment of semi-domesticated creatures, including a coyote named Gandalf, a fox named Felix and the Harrisons, a family of red-tail hawks.

ChoosingCharters.com Highlights Power of School Choice in Michigan

Students, families attribute freedom in education to success in school … more

Fixing Detroit Schools – Five Principles

The right approach could benefit students and protect taxpayers … more

A Lesson from the Land of Lincoln: Electricity Competition Works

Michiganders could have saved $10.6 billion in energy costs … more

The Case for Energy Competition

Study shows states without a monopoly have better, cheapter power … more

Incentives and the Electricity Industry in Michigan

Gary Wolfram's recommendations for a better power market … more

State Media Features Overcriminalization Fight

Mackinac Center partners with ACLU, others … more

Regulations Gone Awry: The War Over Uber

Mackinac Center Director of Research to Debate Lansing Mayor on Economic Development

Panelists Will Discuss the Current Political Realities and Ideology of Corporate Welfare … more

Michigan Should Reconsider Anticompetitive Certificate of Need Laws

Repressive Ride-sharing Regulations Beaten Back in the Big Apple

Similar regulations proposed in Michigan … more

How Not to Regulate the Innovation Sector

The Legislature appears torn on how to regulate ride-sharing. … more

FTC to Michigan Legislature: End Car Protectionism

Let consumers buy cars from whomever they want … more

Mackinac Center Study Gives a How-To When Changing the Constitution

Read This: FEE Interview With Larry Reed

Former Mackinac Center president shares stories of his world travels … more

Public Letter on Direct Automobile Sales

Center signs on to letter explaining why state should allow car manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. … more

One Step Toward 'Reinventing' Michigan

Governor, Legislature can embrace innovation. … more

Economists Agree: Ride-Sharing Benefits Consumers

The poor are helped the most. … more

Issues & Ideas Forum Dec. 4 in Lansing

Our growing occupational licensing regime. … more

Michigan Bill Could Give Ride-Sharing an Uber Lift

Bill prohibits local governments from further regulation … more

Free the Food

Cottage food industry regulations need revamp. … more

Center Adds Two New Scholars to Board

One from Hillsdale, one from MSU. … more

New Evidence: Right-to-Work Laws Work

Center scholar co-authors CEI study. … more

Michigan Future Report Doesn't Add Up

Academic research favors low-tax states. … more

MEA Embraces More Outsourcing

But still protests when schools do it. … more

Center Adds New Scholar to Team

Jason Taylor, CMU professor and economist. … more

Electricity Competition in Illinois

Consumers save $240 annually. … more

What Right-to-Work Means

A view from a union contract. … more

Analysis: Misleading Commercial on Electric Rates

Comparison to Texas invalid, dishonest. … more

Center Adds Three New Scholars to Board

Chris Douglas, Michael Hicks, Todd Nesbit. … more

Michigan Needs Electricity Competition

Monopoly led to 27 percent rate increase. … more

Legislature Considers Two Center Ideas

New bills on school grading, third-grade reading proficiency. … more

Berrien Springs Public Schools: Reinventing School — Becoming a District of Choices

In this latest installment of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's new "Schools of Innovation" series, we discuss how Berrien Springs school district is reinventing public school. This study examines how the district has become more racially diverse, enrollment is growing rapidly, and they are using that growth to inject some much needed balance to the school funds. All this has been due to the district’s expansion of digital learning options, becoming a “district of choices.” The effectiveness of virtual learning and the resulting increase in district enrollment have fueled the expansion of other school programs — a marked contrast to the many Michigan school districts that have struggled to maintain their offerings during the state's economic slump. … more

It’s For the Kids, Right?

Common Core Clarification

"Promising but dangerous" is the right description. … more

Michigan vs. Florida

This study is an examination of Florida and Michigan's performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress's (NAEP) standardized test, often referred to as "the nation's report card." Immediately prior to and during Florida's immense improvement on these scores from the past 15 years, the state made substantial changes to its public education system. Some of these policies have been rigorously studied and have shown a positive impact on Florida students that Michigan should emulate to improve its static performance. … more

Huffington Post Gets it Wrong ... Again

Story mischaracterizes study on Michigan charters. … more

A ‘Common’ Debate: Common Core Curriculum Standards Are Promising But Dangerous

Average Teacher Salaries Climb

MDE data at $62,631 for 2010-2011 school year. … more

No Link Between Charters, Segregation

New study disproves commonly held myth. … more

Two Charter Public Schools Being Closed

If only all schools faced the same accountability. … more

Politics Alive and Well in Public Schools

Brandon board won't sell vacant building to charter group. … more

Don't Trust Ed-Trust on Charter Schools

Group seeks ed reform, but misses mark on charters. … more

The Preschool Paradox

An extra year of kindergarten vs. Great Start. … more

Teacher Merit Pay in India

A model Michigan should consider. … more

Despite Claims, Michigan School Funding Higher Than a Decade Ago; Way More Than Decades Past

Great Myths About Great Start

Average Superintendent Compensation in Michigan

Searchable database now available online. … more

Tall Tales

DPS scores get a closer look. … more