[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.

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