Shayna Cook

Policy Analyst, Education Policy Program

Shayna Cook is a policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She was a member of the Early & Elementary Education team, and now works on the Learning Technologies project. Cook researches and reports on innovation in family engagement, new technologies, and digital equity issues concerning children from birth through third grade. She also writes about the early childhood workforce and school discipline issues that impact children in the early years and grades. 

Cook has authored the reports "Starting Young: Massachusetts Birth–3rd Grade Policies that Support Children's Literacy Development," "From Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth–3rd Grade Policies That Support Strong Readers," "A False Dichotomy: Elementary School Principals on Academics and Play," "Tradeoffs: Elementary Principals on Hiring and Staffing in the Early Grades," "Multilingual Paraprofessionals: An Untapped Resource for Supporting American Pluralism," "Integrating Technology in Early Literacy: A Snapshot of Community Innovation in Family Engagement," and "Teacher Talent Untapped: Multilingual Paraprofessionals Speak About the Barriers to Entering the Profession."      

Before joining New America, she taught pre-K and 3rd grade in the District of Columbia Public Schools and at a private early learning center in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Cook and her work have been featured in media outlets including Slate, Education Week, and The Washington Monthly. 

She graduated from American University with a master’s degree in education, focusing on policy and leadership. She holds a bachelor’s degree in classics from Howard University.

All Work

EDUCATION POLICY
Multilingual Paraprofessionals Highlight Barriers to Entering the Teaching Profession

A new paper uses focus group data with multilingual paraprofessionals to explore barriers to entering teaching.


EDUCATION POLICY
Interview: Taking a Look at Pre-K Teachers’ Implicit Biases

Do early educators’ implicit biases impact their behavioral expectations and recommendations for suspension and expulsion?


EDUCATION POLICY
Cyberbullying Prevention: A Case for Starting Early

What parents and educators should recognize is that addressing cyberbullying may require starting with early education.


EDUCATION POLICY
New Guidance on Using ESSA to Support Early Learning

The U.S. Department of Education released new non-regulatory guidance on the Every Student Succeeds Act and early learning.


EDUCATION POLICY
Quality Improvements for Child Care Cross the Finish Line

Last month, the Obama Administration pushed quality improvements for child care across the finish line.


EDUCATION POLICY
Integrating Technology in Early Literacy

A new brief analyzes the impact of early learning and family engagement programs around the country.


EDUCATION POLICY
Integrating Technology in Early Literacy

EDUCATION POLICY
What Does the Civil Rights Data Tell Us About Early Learners?

Since 1968 the U.S. Dept of Education Office of Civil Rights has been collecting and adding data points on equal education opportunities.


EDUCATION POLICY
Multilingual Paraprofessionals

This policy brief examines whether U.S. paraprofessionals can help meet the growing need for multilingual teachers.


EDUCATION POLICY
Eight Facts That Show Babies are Smarter Than You Thought!

Some takeaways from the National Academy of Medicine’s Transforming the Workforce Report.


EDUCATION POLICY
Five Ways Policymakers Can Support Children’s Mental Health

During Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to remember that fostering mental health starts in infancy.


EDUCATION POLICY
Out Today: Principals’ Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in PreK-3rd

Most models are geared towards building strong teachers, but until recently principals have been left out of the conversation.