About Us

Reforming public education is one of the most pressing challenges facing our country today.

As educators, we are dedicated to training the next generation. We teach advanced econometrics, program evaluation, and education policy courses. Through collaborative work, students develop expertise in conducting cutting-edge research in education policy and evaluation. We have also established several formal training programs, described below.


The Education Policy Initiative (EPI) was originally launched as a research area within the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. It became a stand-alone initiative in 2012 under the leadership of Professors Susan Dynarski and Brian Jacob.

Since its inception, EPI has raised nearly $23 million in research funding and annually convenes over three dozen seminars, conferences, and public lectures. To support our mission, EPI has established formal research collaborations with many state education agencies — including in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and Tennessee — and engages with local education practitioners and researchers at other leading universities.

EPI researchers are actively engaged in a variety of research and policy endeavors, including an evaluation of charter schools, a study of teacher effectiveness and its predictors, efforts to develop and pilot interventions aimed at raising completion rates among low-income community college students, and projects to better understand the effects of policies aimed to improve K-12 educational outcomes and performance, among other topics.


The central mission of the initiative is to engage in applied education policy research. The Education Policy Initiative is a program within the Ford School that brings together nationally-recognized education policy scholars focused on the generation and dissemination of policy-relevant education research. The primary goals of the initiative are to:

  • Conduct rigorous research to inform education policy debates in Michigan and nationwide
  • Disseminate best practices in education reform to local, state, and national policymakers, as well as to educational practitioners, parents, and students
  • Train graduate students and others to conduct cutting-edge research in education
  • Facilitate interactions between students and faculty from different schools and/or departments who share an interest in education reform