Schoolwork: Maine Education Policy Research Institute celebrates 25 years

The new issue of UMaine Today, now online, includes an article on the 25th anniversary of the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI). The Maine Legislature established the nonpartisan institute in 1995 “to collect and analyze education information and perform targeted education research for the Legislature.” MEPRI’s unique structure—the institute is led by two co-directors, one from the University of Maine and one from the University of Southern Maine—allows it to provide reliable, fact-based information and data for education policymakers in the state. In addition to the legislature, MEPRI has a contract with the Maine Department of Education to perform ongoing research. The article notes that throughout the years, “MEPRI has produced hundreds of reports on topics ranging from Maine’s statewide middle school laptop program to public preschool to teacher turnover and shortages.” Janet Fairman—an associate research professor at UMaine and one of the current co-directors along with Amy Johnson at USM—says: “MEPRI’s had an impact on education policy in Maine, not to mention nationally and internationally.” The full article is available online.