History and mission

What we do Meet our team
EPI Team

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.

Inequities in education is one of the most pressing challenges facing our country today. The pandemic has revealed enormous inequalities in homes, in schools, in families. The real divide I worry about is not one in broadband or laptop access. It's access to an adult who can help you with your schooling throughout the day.

— Susan M. Dynarski, research center co-founder

Our Mission

EPI uses causal inference methods to identify the impact of education policies, programs, and practices and ultimately improve outcomes for students from birth to adulthood.

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

  • 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