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
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.


EDUCATION POLICY
Standing Together Against Suspension & Expulsion in Early Childhood

EDUCATION POLICY
At White House, #STEMStartsEarly, with Comments Invited on Tech Policy

At the White House symposium, more than 200 public and private initiatives announced commitments to help promote early STEM education.


EDUCATION POLICY
Why States Need a Strategy on K-2 Literacy and Math Assessment

New America looked at whether states had implemented an approach to assessment by of K- 2 literacy and math.


EDUCATION POLICY
Putting Children First: #JusticeforFlint

Last week, both the Democratic and Republican parties held debates in Michigan and to varying degrees addressed the lead poisoning crisis.


EDUCATION POLICY
Expanding Access to High-Quality Child Care for Infants and Toddlers

Congress introduced the Child Care Access to Resources for Early-learning Act to provide more dedicated child care funding for young kids.


EDUCATION POLICY
New Report Sheds Light on the Need for Digital Equity at Home for Education

New digital equity report provides insight into barriers for families trying to get online, and consequences of the digital divide for kids.


EDUCATION POLICY
Kindergarten Access and Quality: A Look at the Leading States

In a recently released report from New America's Early & Elementary Education Policy team, we scan state policies for full-day kindergarten.


EDUCATION POLICY
Standards, Assessment, and Data: A Look at the Leading States

Standards, assessment, and data are essential components to ensuring that all students have access to and mastery of grade level skills.


EDUCATION POLICY
Getting the InTEL: New Map Highlights Tech-Integrated Early Literacy Programs

New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop announced the release of Integrating Technology in Early Literacy, an interac


EDUCATION POLICY
From Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth–3rd Grade Policies That Support Strong Readers

Few states have put comprehensive policies in place to support early literacy.


EDUCATION POLICY
What do Voters Think about the Early Childhood Education Profession?

NAEYC took its first step toward defining the the early childhood education profession.