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Evaluation Center joins policy and research alliance

Dec. 5, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's Evaluation Center has joined 32 other leading university research and evaluation centers to help boost education policy and research by sharing study results and other vital information.

The centers, located in 23 states across the nation, have formed the EPA--Education Policy Alliance. Among alliance initiatives is the EPA Web site featuring a free Internet search engine now available to those looking for instant access to high-quality education policy research and evaluation.

"Our center has been conducting evaluations of education policies and school reforms for years," says Dr. Gary Miron, WMU Evaluation Center chief of staff and a national policy fellow associated with EPA. "Participation in this new alliance allows us to network and share our findings and experience with other policy analysts, evaluators, researchers and practitioners from across the country."

Information sharing will not be limited to alliance members, however, say project partners.

"EPA places research from some of the country's most expert sources into the hands of journalists, policymakers, researchers and concerned citizens," says one of EPA's co-founders, Dr. Kevin Welner, an associate professor of education at the University of Colorado at Boulder, whose Education and the Public Interest Center--EPIC--is involved in the initiative.

"It's a straightforward, but extraordinarily useful resource," adds the alliance's other co-founder, Dr. Alex Molnar, a professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Arizona State University, where the Education Policy Research Unit--EPRU--also is an alliance member.

The alliance's goal is to further democratic deliberation regarding education policies. Fellows of EPRU and EPIC produce education policy expertise, analysis and insight through policy briefs and think tank reviews.

To visit the EPA or Think Tank Review Project Web sites, go to www.educationpolicyalliance.org or www.thinktankreview.org. Additional information is available at the WMU Evaluation Center Web site at www.wmich.edu/evalctr.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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