Discovery Institute’s American Center for Transforming Education  (ACTE) works with state legislators, policymakers, and parents to promote systemic change to our nation’s education system so that it well serves the families that utilize it.

What We Do

ACTE promotes the expansion of public support for families to choose the schools they believe will best serve their children, whether traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, homeschooling, or virtual schools. The parent is the child’s first and most dedicated teacher, and ACTE believes the family has the fundamental responsibility for educating the child.  We recognize, however, that traditional public schools remain the choice for many parents and are, therefore, working simultaneously to enhance and improve the operations of our nation’s public schools.

Our Team

Donald Nielsen

Senior Fellow and Program Director, American Center for Transforming Education
Donald P. Nielsen is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and chair of the Institute’s program on public education reform. He currently serves as Chairman of Lumenal Lighting, LLC., a business he purchased in 2004. Lumenal Lighting is in the commercial lighting business and serves companies, schools, government facilities and non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

Bailey Takacs

Program Coordinator, American Center for Transforming Education
Bailey Takacs is the Program Coordinator for the American Center for Transforming Education. He researches and composes op-eds for The Bottom Line Blog, provides administrative support to the Chair and Fellows for the ACTE, coordinates local events, researching new and existing donors, managing the social media sites related to the program, and serves as a liaison with the Chair, President, Fellows and legislators. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Government from Pacific Lutheran University. He came to Discovery after many positions with elected officials, where he was most recently the Campaign Manager for State Representative Paul Graves. He managed multiple political events and fundraisers as well as organized and composed a volunteer and intern grassroots effort. In addition he synchronized and executed campaign finance operations.