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Burck Smith, CEO and Founder of StraighterLine

Before launching StraighterLine, Burck Smith was the founder and CEO of SMARTHINKING, the dominant online tutoring provider for schools and colleges. In addition to building StraighterLine, Burck has written chapters for two books on education policy for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is a member of the American Enterprise Institute's Higher Education Working Group. 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:

  • 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. Published as part of a book sponsored by the Gates Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
  • 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. Published as part of a book sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.
  • College by Subscription - American Enterprises Institute, September, 2009.

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