Since 2017, the D.C. Policy Center’s Education Policy Initiative has brought objective analyses to education conversations in the District of Columbia. The Education Policy Initiative’s research reflects the D.C. Policy Center’s broad urban policy perspective, making our work unique in the education research space.

We recognize that public schools factor into where families want to live; how public schools mix students from different backgrounds can increase opportunities (or amplify inequities); schools can shape neighborhoods, and vice versa, even in a unified school district with a great degree of choice; and that schools can alter how employers perceive the local workforce. Thinking of the public school system through this urban policy lens is important because it focuses the policymakers on what local laws and policies can do to bring about change.

Throughout our work, we highlight inequities in education, and how these tie to other areas such as housing and workforce policies. We seek to bring new data and information to help improve outcomes for D.C.’s students, especially those students furthest from opportunity.

Education issues in focus

D.C. Voices series

Our D.C. Voices series elevates front-line perspectives, including government officials, practitioners, and community members.

Our most recent publications from the Education Policy Initiative

Charts of the week

Charts of the week are published every week in the D.C. Policy Center’s email newsletter. In addition to content created across the organization, the EPI team creates education-specific charts to illustrate relevant data.

About the Education Policy Initiative

Now in years 7 and 8 of its work, the Education Policy Initiative’s current two-year research agenda focuses on how students, teachers, families, and school communities are recovering from the impact of the pandemic, from early childhood to college and career. 

Hear from EPI experts and dig into our research at virtual and in-person events.

EPI experts are often interviewed and our research is frequently highlighted by the press.


These staff members are at the core of the Education Policy Initiative.


Our research is guided by a group of education researchers with deep knowledge of D.C.’s public schools and public school choice.

Matt Chingos
Urban Institute

Nora Gordon
Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy

Phyllis Jordan

Taylor White
New America

Jon Valant
Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute

Financial support

The D.C. Policy Center created the Education Policy Initiative in October of 2017 to focus on the intersection of education and demographics in D.C. Our Education Policy Initiative is supported by generous grants from Education Forward DC, the Walton Family Foundation, the Bainum Family Foundation, and The Richard E. & Nancy P. Marriott Foundation.