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 serves as program coordinator at Discovery Institutes' American Center for Transforming Education. With a passion and drive for reforming education, Bailey’s experience includes managing campaigns for elected officials as well administrative roles with elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Government from Pacific Lutheran University.