Burck Smith

Burck SmithBurck Smith is the CEO and founder of StraighterLine. Ten years before launching StraighterLine in 2009, he co-founded SMARTHINKING, the largest online tutoring provider for schools and colleges. Burck has written chapters for two books on education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and is working on a third. He is a member of the American Enterprise Institute’s Higher Education Working Group. Prior to starting SMARTHINKING, Burck worked as an independent consultant who contracted with for-profit and non-profit educational organizations, including clients such as the Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Computer Curriculum Corporation, the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, the Milken Exchange on Education and Technology, Teaching Matters Inc., Converge Magazine and others. As a writer about education and technology issues, Burck has been published by Wired Magazine, Wired News, Converge Magazine, University Business and the National School Boards Association. In the early 1990’s, he wrote articles on a variety of subjects including creating community telecommunication networks, electronic access to political information, telecommunications deregulation and the ability of utilities to serve as telecommunications service providers. Burck holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Williams College. Recent publications include:

  • Post-secondary, Post “Access”
  • Higher Ed Reform, from the Chapter “Rethinking Accreditation,” College 2.0, an Entrepreneurial Approach to Reforming Higher Ed, Kauffman Foundation, June 2012
  • Public Policy Barriers to Post-Secondary Cost Control – Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference, “Increasing Accountability in American Higher Education,” November 17, 2009. It was published by Macmillan/Palgrave in a book with the equally scintillating title of Accountability in American Higher Education.
  • Price Competition and Course-Level Choice in K-12 Education: Lessons from Higher Ed – Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute Conference, “More Than Just Schools: Rethinking the Demand for Educational Entrepreneurship,” December 7, 2009. It was published by Harvard Education Press in The Future of Educational Entrepreneurship.
  • College by Subscription – American Enterprises Institute, September, 2009.
  • Perspectivs: Unconventional Freedom, Changemag.org, 2013
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