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U-M Researcher Chosen to Study How Michigan’s Education Governance System Can Improve Outcomes for Students

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has selected a University of Michigan researcher to lead a study into how the state's education governance system can be improved for the benefit of public school students.

Dr. Brian Jacob of the University of Michigan, who has extensive expertise in education policy research, will lead the study.

The proposed research will review key system features: the structure of school districts across the state, the allocation of responsibilities and authority across different levels of government, the state’s school finance system, and the state’s school choice system. It will include recommendations to state leaders for governance changes that would benefit public school students.

“MDE is pleased to work with Dr. Jacob on this very important study focused on education governance and ways in which governance reforms might strengthen child education outcomes statewide,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael F. Rice. “Dr. Jacob’s proposal was strong and aligns with Michigan’s Top 10 Strategic Education Plan.”

The study will look at the effectiveness and efficiency of educational governance related to – but not limited to – federal and state government, intermediate school districts, and traditional and charter school districts. The study is funded through the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg professor of education policy and professor of public policy, economics, and education at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He is co-founder and faculty co-director of the Youth Policy Lab at U-M.

Jacob is experienced at using large administrative datasets, conducting statistical analyses, and managing complex, multi-year research projects. His research covers a wide variety of education and education-related topics including but not limited to school choice, teacher labor markets, foster care, and juvenile detention. His work has appeared in top economics journals including the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.

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