[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.

It’s For the Kids, Right?

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

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

Great Myths About Great Start

School Choice Has Helped Michigan Students

Iceberg Ahead: Unions May Play Right-to-Work Off on Teachers

Alcohol and Merit Pay

Real Merit Pay for Michigan Teachers

Merit Pay Survey

Time to Rethink ISDs

Sorry Kids — Say Goodbye to Count Day Goodies

Emergency Managers Fill the Role of Modern-Day Cincinnatus

Making the Whole Class Flip: The Online Learning Revolution

Reform Needed to Curb Rising School District Debt Levels

Tuition Subsidies Offer Too Few Benefits

Michigan Should Reform School Lending System

Bloated Teacher Contracts Much To Blame For Issues In Highland Park, Muskegon

Bureaucrats vs. Parents — Who Should Choose Where Children Are Educated?

Commentary: Charter Schools Face Discrimination in Michigan

'We Found a Place Where Our Children's Safety Would Never Be An Issue'

Schools Should Fund Learning, Not Insurance Companies

School Choice Advocates Cheer Lift of Charter Public School Cap

Commentary: Research Shows Parental Choice Works

Michigan School Exporting Education to China

Time to Take School Choice in Michigan to the Next Level

Schools Use Creative Accounting to Exaggerate Fiscal Challenges

It Shouldn’t Take a Hurricane to Revitalize Detroit Public Schools

Virtual Learning in Michigan’s Schools

MichiganScience is a Mackinac Center quarterly magazine that helps meet the need for accurate and accessible information about the increasingly complex scientific issues confronting voters and lawmakers. The magazine reflects the idea that even the most technical scientific policy issues can be discussed with lively prose and compelling visuals. … more

Analysis: Schools Health Insurance and Corporate Welfare

A Virtual Learning Revolution

Average Eaton Rapids Teacher’s Salary $55,826 ; Contributes Just 2 Percent for Health Plan

Lake Orion Teachers Health Benefits 52 Percent Above Private-Sector Average

Are Intermediate School Districts Bloated?

Traverse City Schools Set Transparency Precedent

ISD Bloat Redux

Brighton Teacher Contract Summary

Analysis: Detroit Students Hostages to the Union

Huron Valley Teacher Contract Summary

ISD Bloat?

The number of school employees for each student in Michigan's public school system has been rising for most of the past 15 years, and stands now at one employee for every eight students. This is surprising given Michigan's declining economy over the last decade, and the school establishment's perpetual complaints of being underfunded… more

New State Data Shows Michigan Public Schools Spent Record Amount Per Student

Teachers Picket as One of Michigan's Wealthiest School Districts Faces Big Deficit