Education Policy & Law Lab

Directors: Dr. Neal Hutchens & Dr. Wayne D. Lewis


The Kentucky Education Policy and Law Lab (hereafter referred to as the Lab) will provide timely, rigorous, and non-partisan education policy information and research, and make recommendations for the improvement of education policy, practice, and leadership in Kentucky’s public schools and higher education institutions. The Lab will bring together scholars from various academic fields and disciplines and key practitioners and community stakeholders from organizations and agencies throughout the Commonwealth, as well as groups and individuals outside of Kentucky as appropriate, to help identify and address critical educational policy issues in the Commonwealth.

Lab Structure

The Lab will be structured as a conduit for collaboration between researchers, education practitioners across the P20 spectrum, and policy makers across the Commonwealth. A sketch of the Lab’s structure follows:

Advisory Council

The Lab’s work will be guided by input from an education policy Advisory Council. Council members will be chosen from the P20 Kentucky education community. The council will consist of a diverse group of individuals, including teachers, administrators, researchers, government officials, and higher education faculty members. Advisory council members will represent state agencies, institutions, and organizations across the P20 continuum.

Faculty/Practitioner Associates

The Lab will work collaboratively with a group of Faculty and Practitioner Associates positioned in research and professional areas across the P20 spectrum. Several faculty have agreed to serve in this capacity, including:

  • Dr. Justin Bathon (EDL)

Education Law, Technology Leadership

  • Dr. Kelly Bradley (EPE)

Quantitative Research, Evaluation, Measurement

  • Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno (EDL)

Educational Administration, Leadership Preparation

  • Dr. Eric Reed (EPE)Quantitative Research, Sociology of Education
  • Dr. Beth Rous (EDL)

Early Childhood Education, Special Education

  • Dr. John Thelin (EPE)

History of Higher Education, Public Policy

Timeline of Anticipated Activities

Summer 2010

Assemble Council of Advisors

Design and launch the Kentucky Education Law and Policy Lab web page

Plan training sessions for 2010-2011 academic year

Begin conducting and dissemination of information and Lab research

Fall 2010 & Spring 2011

Launch community forums on current critical Kentucky education policy issues

Launch research training sessions for practitioners and students

Planning for School Administrators Law Conference

Summer 2011

1st Annual School Administrators Law Conference in collaboration with the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA)

Potential Projects

The Lab’s Advisory Council will play an integral role in helping to guide the work of the lab and the projects that it undertakes, but the following are some potential projects/issues that the lab might pursue:

  • Charter School Policy Analysis Report
  • Closing the Achievement Gap in Kentucky Policy Evaluation
  • Commonwealth School Reform Evaluation
  • Involvement with ongoing efforts to establish a state-wide data system for sudents.
  • Additional potential areas for K-12 policy research include:
    • State Educational Governance
    • Teacher Compensation/Merit Pay
    • School Calendar
    • Class Size
    • School Districting & Consolidation
  • Potential areas for higher education policy research include:
    • Dual Enrollment Programs
    • Pipeline issues in the transition from P-12 to postsecondary education, including in such important areas as STEM and in teacher preparation programs
    • Access and Diversity Issues
    • Enhancing undergraduate instruction and student support services
    • Issues related to retention and graduation, such as assessment of the new transfer legislation approved by the legislature.


Updated by on July 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm

College of Education University of Kentucky College of Education