Type: Public event

Navigating the impacts of COVID-19 on education in Michigan

Date & time

Dec 7, 2021, 4:00-5:15 pm EST


This is a Virtual Event.

Please join us for this panel discussion about the profound effects of COVID-19 on the state of education in Michigan. Research from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University has looked at shifts in enrollment numbers, indicators of student achievement, and qualitative effects on students and families. Eighteen months into the pandemic, what measurable effects have we seen, what are the long-term implications, and what lessons can be learned from this unique set of challenges? Watch this event on YouTube.

This event is hosted by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Education Policy Initiative, and co-sponsored by Bridge Michigan and University Research Corridor.


  • Delsa Chapman, Michigan Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Educator, Student, and School Support
  • Sarah Lenhoff, WSU professor of educational leadership and policy studies
  • Kevin Stange, U-M professor of public policy
  • Katharine Strunk, MSU professor of education
  • Moderated by Ron French, Bridge Michigan senior writer and associate editor


Delsa Chapman serves as deputy superintendent of educator, student, and school supports at the Michigan Department of Education. She has nearly 30 years of experience in education, all served with the Lansing School District. Dr. Chapman's past educational work experiences include central administration appointments as deputy superintendent of the instructional, division, associate superintendent for student learning, and director of high schools and magnet programs. Prior to central office administration, Dr. Chapman served as a STEM elementary and secondary principal. As an early educator, Dr. Chapman taught high school science and became enthusiastically involved in comprehensive school reform, professional development, and student-centered thematic instruction. Dr. Chapman is a Michigan State University Education Policy Fellowship Program alumnus. She is credentialed with a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree from Michigan State University. 

Sarah Winchell Lenhoff is the Leonard Kaplan Endowed Professor and an associate professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Wayne State University. She is the director of the Detroit Education Research Partnership, a collaboration with Detroit schools and community-based organizations to produce research to inform education policy and practice in Detroit. Dr. Lenhoff began her career as a New York City public school teacher, and she led the research and policy division of the non-profit The Education Trust-Midwest for four years. Her research focuses on education policy implementation, access to equitable educational opportunities, and continuous improvement. Dr. Lenhoff’s recent research has examined district and school infrastructure to support school improvement; the effects of school choice policy on racial equity; and the causes and consequences of student absenteeism. She completed her Ph.D. in educational policy at Michigan State University. Please see Dr. Lenhoff’s recent report, Detroit Families’ Experience with COVID-19 and School Attendance: Survey from DPSCD.

Kevin Stange is an associate professor of public policy at the University of Michigan and faculty co-director of the Education Policy Initiative (EPI).  Dr. Stange's research lies broadly in empirical labor and public economics, with a focus on education and health care. Spanning K12 through postsecondary education, Dr. Stange primarily uses quantitative data and causal inference methods to measure the impact of policies and programs. His recent research includes studies of college enrollment and persistence, the effect of resources and peers on community college students, the importance of amenities in college choice, and the effects of different pricing structures on major choice and student credit load.  Prior to joining the Ford School, Dr. Stange was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. He received undergraduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from MIT and his PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Please see Dr. Stange’s recent report, The Pandemic's Effect on Demand for Public Schools, Homeschooling, and Private Schools.

Katharine O. Strunk is the Clifford E. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Education and a professor of education policy at Michigan State University. She is the faculty director of MSU's Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC). An expert on K-12 education governance, teachers’ unions, collective bargaining agreements, portfolio management models, teacher labor markets, school turnaround, and accountability policies, Dr. Strunk has worked extensively with district and state policymakers, including working with Los Angeles Unified School District and the California and Michigan Departments of Education to help decision makers formulate, design, and revise policy. Dr. Strunk is currently the President of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP).  She received her PhD in Educational Administration and Policy and her MA in Economics from Stanford University, and her BA in Public Policy from Princeton University. Please see Dr. Strunk’s recent report, Michigan’s 2020-21 Benchmark Assessments.