About Us

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

It is central to the economic prosperity of our society as a whole and to the upward mobility of traditionally disadvantaged populations. Our mission is to engage in applied, policy-relevant education research to help improve overall educational achievement and outcomes.


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 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