As senior policy analyst for the Education Policy Center, Ben DeGrow focuses on labor-related issues. Since joining the Independence Institute in 2003, Ben has advanced its research in the areas of collective bargaining, teacher unionism, teacher employment, and school finance. He oversees the Education Policy Center’s informational Web site for teachers and coordinates the Institute’s outreach to teachers.
Ben has authored or co-authored 11 Issue Papers, 22 Issue Backgrounders, and numerous opinion-editorials that have appeared in a wide variety of Colorado publications. He is a contributing editor for the national monthly School Reform News, and is a contributor to several state and national policy-oriented blogs and online news sites.
Ben frequently appears on radio and television programs to discuss policy issues, while also hosting a weekly half-hour K-12 education series on the Amy Oliver Show on AM 1310 KFKA. He testifies before legislative committees and has given presentations to community groups, legislators, candidates, and national conferences.
Ben was born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1977, and grew up in the greater Detroit metropolitan area. He graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College in 1999 with a B.A. in History (Political Science minor) and received an M.A. in History in 2001 from The Pennsylvania State University. He is a 2006 graduate of the Leadership Program of the Rockies. In 2008-09 he served on the committee to redraft Colorado’s model content standards for social studies.
Ben’s experiences in the classroom include leading recitations and discussions as a university graduate assistant and a term as a substitute teacher in public elementary and middle schools in Michigan. He also spent nearly a year on the editorial staff of the Hillsdale Daily News, where he earned Associated Press honors for local sports writing.
Ben is married to Marya DeGrow, who also is his co-worker in the Education Policy Center. They are parents of three daughters. Among Ben’s favorite pastimes are reading history, playing piano, hiking, visiting historic sites, and cheering as a diehard baseball fan for his two favorite clubs: the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies.