History and mission

What we do Meet our team
Headshots of 4 faculty directors of EPI

Applied policy research and training to improve education outcomes

The Education Policy Initiative (EPI) was 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 research center in 2012 under the leadership of Professors Susan Dynarski and Brian Jacob.

Our History

Since 2012, EPI has raised over $29 million in research funding and annually convenes research seminars, public events and lectures. To support the mission of the initiative, EPI has established formal research collaborations with many state education agencies — including in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, 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 early literacy interventions, career and technical education, programs aimed at increasing college readiness among high schoolers, improving the rates at which low-income students enroll in high quality postsecondary institutions, and ultimately ensuring that the effects of education policies are aimed to improve outcomes for children into adulthood.

Education has the power to improve outcomes and address inequality, but identifying which policies and programs work and why can be challenging. Many of the most pressing questions about education policy are of a causal nature, that is, how does a particular policy affect an outcome that we care about?

— Christina Weiland, EPI co-Director

Our Mission

EPI informs evidence based policy making in education.

Using our leading-edge methodological expertise, EPI works to:

  • Produce rigorous empirical evidence
  • Inform education policy debates and discussions nationwide
  • Build capacity among policymakers, educational practitioners, parents, and students for evidence-based education reform
  • Train the next generation of education policy researchers
  • Extend and strengthen the network of professionals who share an interest in improving educational equity and access