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.
Equalizing Educational Opportunity
Disparities in student opportunities and outcomes from kindergarten through higher education are shaped 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.
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.
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.
Authors: Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Tareena Musaddiq, Joshua Goodman, & Kevin Stange This reflects joint work with colleagues at the Education Policy Initiative at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy. Project Summary This study builds upon the authors’ prior research on enrollment shifts across school sectors during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and examines whether these patterns persisted into the subsequent school year. The authors use longitudinal...
Authors: Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Sidrah Baloch, Olivia Chi, Ariel Tichnor-Wagner Project Summary In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, amid fears of a sudden disruption to the supply of new teachers, Massachusetts put an emergency teaching license into effect. The policy allowed districts to employ teachers who had not yet completed the traditional requirements for obtaining licensure. This report summarizes key learnings from the first cohort of individuals to participate in this new,...
Authors: Kirsten Slungaard Mumma and Marcus A Winters Project Summary This study examines the impact of Mississippi’s test-based promotion policy, adopted in 2013 as part of a comprehensive statewide effort to improve early literacy. The authors employ a research design that allows them to estimate the causal impact of third-grade retention under the policy on test scores and non-test-score outcomes in the sixth grade. The findings contribute to our growing knowledge of how elementary-level...