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NEPC Publications Explained

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), a university research center housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, provides high-quality information in support of democratic deliberation about education policy. NEPC publications are written in accessible language and are intended for a broad audience that includes academic experts, policymakers, the media, and the general public. We invite you to sign up for our publication alerts so that you will be among the first to know when NEPC releases a new publication.


Click to view a list of all archived NEPC publications.

Click to view NEPC's Editorial Board and our NEPC Review Panel.

See below for explanations of the kinds of documents we publish.

  • Policy Briefs: Policy Briefs synthesize existing research knowledge on a policy or practice issue of importance. Written in language an interested non-expert would find accessible, policy briefs answer the questions: “What is the research evidence related to a given policy or practice option – and what policy recommendations follow from that evidence?” NEPC Policy Briefs are blind peer reviewed. (Lista de documentos disponibles en español: click aquí)

  • Legislative Policy Briefs: Legislative Policy Briefs combine the research syntheses and policy recommendations found in Policy Briefs with a section drafted by an attorney containing model statutory language. The model statutory language details how legislative bodies can act on the policy recommendations. NEPC Legislative Policy Briefs are blind peer reviewed. (Lista de documentos disponibles en español: click aquí)

  • Research Briefs: Research Briefs present original research on significant policy questions. NEPC has, for example, published path-breaking work on high-stakes testing and charter school finance. NEPC Research Briefs are blind peer reviewed.

  • Policy Memos: Policy Memos are briefer and less formal than NEPC briefs. They may, for example, provide information such as a list of education experts, or offer a quick assessment of the merits of a particular policy proposal in the news, or provide a commentary on a topical subject. NEPC Policy Memos may be blind peer reviewed.

  • NEPC Reviews: NEPC Reviews are expert third-party reviews of selected non-peer-reviewed publications. Using academic peer review standards, reviewers consider the quality and defensibility of a report's assumptions, methods, findings, and recommendations. Written in non-academic language, reviews are intended to help policymakers, reporters, and others assess the social science merit of a reviewed report and to judge its value in guiding policy.

  • Reviews Worth Sharing: NEPC occasionally publishes reviews it has not commissioned because we believe they contribute to our goal of helping policymakers, reporters, and others assess the social science merit of reports and judge their value in guiding policy. These reviews have not gone through NEPC’s editorial process. The views, analyses, and conclusions expressed in them belong entirely to the authors. As is the case with NEPC Reviews, NEPC encourages the authors of the reviewed reports to engage with these additional reviews, consistent with our core belief that readers benefit from healthy, substantive exchanges of ideas and contentions.

  • FYI: For Your Information (FYI) documents may be presented in audio, video, image, or print formats. FYI documents present important content in a brief, engaging manner intended to promote further learning or action.

  • Newsletters: Newsletters address topics about which NEPC has previously published briefs, reviews, or other documents. They are also used to make announcements or provide commentary and content that is not well suited to other publication formats.

  • Blog Post of the DayNEPC's Blog Post of the Day features a selection of interesting and insightful blog posts that apply a researcher perspective to important education policy issues. The views expressed by the bloggers are entirely their own. If you have read or written a research-related blog that you would like to have considered for reposting as a Blog Post of the Day, please email us at

  • CERU: The Commercialism in Education Research Unit publishes an annual report on schoolhouse commercialism, an annual report on the EMO/CMO industry, and a variety of other documents related to school commercialism and privatization.

  • IDEAL: The publications of the Initiative on Diversity, Equity, and Learning (IDEAL) provide policymakers, educators, the media, and the public with research and analysis related to equity and racial diversity with the goal of advancing opportunities and school success for all students.

  • Legacy Publications: Legacy Publications are publications originally published by NEPC predecessor centers [the Education and Public Interest Center (EPIC) at the University of Colorado at Boulder or the Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU) at Arizona State University].

  • Resource Documents: Resource Documents are documents published by NEPC and elsewhere that provide background information and/or guidance on important education policy and practice topics. NEPC Resource Documents may be blind peer reviewed


NEPC Document Use Policy: NEPC publications are provided free of cost to NEPC’s readers, who may make non-commercial use of them as long as NEPC and its authors are credited as the source. For inquiries about commercial use, please contact NEPC at