Hi friends. My name is Mike McShane, and this week I’m starting as Director of Education Policy for the Show-Me Institute. I couldn’t be more excited.
I grew up in Kansas City and love that town like only a prodigal son can. If you have lived in Kansas City all of your life, you just have to trust me that Arthur Bryant’s tastes so much better in the restaurant if you’ve been having the sauce mailed to you for a couple of years. Hearing the crack of the bat at the K sounds more melodious when you’ve been watching a herky-jerky video stream on your laptop for the past few seasons. And coming over the crest of I-70 and seeing Downtown framed perfectly under that overpass after a long drive from the East Coast, well, there’s just nothing quite like it. It is so great to be back.
But being from Kansas City (and having gone to college in St. Louis) also makes me acutely aware of our great state’s shortcomings when it comes to providing educational opportunity for all of our children. Rural, urban, city, town, suburb, exurb, we can and must and will do better.
I want to do my small part in our collective improvement. That means researching, writing, and speaking about the most pressing issues facing our education system. What might this look like? Well from me you can expect to see a few things:
- A devotion to better understanding, and helping others to understand, how school choice works, where it stumbles, where it succeeds, and how to make school choice programs better.
- Easily digestible analysis of education research, data, policy, and politics in Missouri and around the country.
- A relentless fight to expand the number of quality schooling options that families, particularly low-income families, have across the state.
- Stories of great schools and great teachers who are fighting against the odds every day to give children the quality education they deserve.
- Lots and lots of policy ideas on how to make Missouri’s education system better. My writing, I hope, will be a place for optimism. We can learn from other states, other countries, and other sectors and bring the best of their ideas to the Show Me State.
Together we can learn and grow and debate and disagree and make Missouri a better place, for all of its citizens. I hope you’ll join me in this noble quest.