Research

In partnership with state and local education agencies, education service providers, and non-profit organizations, WEPC researchers study the efficacy of educational policies and practices in order to improve opportunities and holistic outcomes for traditionally marginalized students. WEPC’s research areas are concerned with equalizing educational opportunity. studying the efficacy of specialized services, and progressing the education workforce.

 

Teacher helping a student

Research Areas

Equalizing Educational Opportunity

Disparities in student opportunities and outcomes from kindergarten through higher education arshaped by a complex set of school, community, governance, and non-education sector factors. WEPC researchers evaluate the impact of policies and practices both within and outside of schools on student educational and life outcomes. 

Specialized Services

In many cases, students with specialized needs, such as English language learners and students with disabilities, are not receiving the supports they need to succeed academically. WEPC researchers leverage large-scale administrative datasets and rigorous causal research designs to evaluate the efficacy of policies and commonly used practices targeted for these students who benefit from targeted supports. 

Effective Educators

Schools are only as effective as the teachers, administrators, and staff working within them. WEPC researchers seek to better understand the educator pipeline and to measure the impact of policies designed to improve the education workforce, from teacher preparation to professional development to increasing the diversity of the education profession. 

Featured Papers

COVID-19 and the Composition of the Massachusetts Teacher Workforce

COVID-19 and the Composition of the Massachusetts Teacher Workforce

Authors: Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Olivia Chi, and Alexis Orellana Project Summary The COVID-19 crisis has created unprecedented disruption for school systems, educators, and the students they serve. The pandemic-related challenges had the potential to alter both the supply of and demand for teachers, particularly in Massachusetts which was an early epicenter of the pandemic. The following analysis examines the extent to which the composition of the teacher workforce changed in Massachusetts during...

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The Pandemic’s Effect on Demand for Public Schools, Homeschooling, and Private Schools

The Pandemic’s Effect on Demand for Public Schools, Homeschooling, and Private Schools

Authors: Tareena Musaddiq, Kevin Stange, Andrew Bacher-Hicks, & Joshua Goodman This reflects joint work with colleagues at the Education Policy Initiative at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy. Additional information on their website here.  Project Summary The COVID-19 pandemic drastically disrupted the functioning of U.S. public schools, potentially changing the relative appeal of alternatives such as homeschooling and private schools. Using student-level...

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Teacher Time Use and Affect During COVID-19

Teacher Time Use and Affect During COVID-19

Authors: Nathan Jones, Eric Camburn, Ben Kelcey, & Esther Quintero This research was supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. Project Summary In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shutdown of school buildings across the United States and a subsequent unplanned nationwide transition to remote learning. For teachers, these school building closures resulted in a transformation of many facets of their work, requiring them to take on new and often...

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