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

Will Congress Act Quickly to Save Federally-Funded Home Visiting Programs?

Next month, the federal funding for the country’s home visiting program is set to expire.

A Survey to Map Early Literacy Initiatives Assisted by New Technologies

President Obama’s Map for Meeting Families’ Child Care Needs

This year, President Obama has announced a plan to triple Child Care Tax Credits for families.

A Changing Role for Head Start?

With Head Start up for reauthorization, many look to how it fits in with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Reflections on 2014 from New America's PreK-12 Ed Policy Team

Some highlights in the world of education policy from 2014.

Dance, Act, Sing: Using Play-Based Learning to Unlock "Tools of the Mind"

Only time will tell if DCPS students who began Tools at three-years-old will show greater academic and self-regulation skills in the future.

Partnering to Reach Our Youngest Learners

Over $400 million in federal grants will fund Early Head Start Expansion and Child Care Partnerships.

Storify: Worthy Work, Still Unlivable Wages

Promising Practices from Department of Defense Early Ed Programs

Although most child care workers experience economic instability, the DoD's child care and preschool program is a bright spot.

Shining a Light on Lack of Access to Afterschool Care

Despite the expansion of afterschool programs, the report shows that many families continue to lack access to care.

Making High Expectations Universal

Common Core is a divisive issue in education; however, the need for greater teacher expectations for all students is undeniable.

States Working to Reduce Pre-K Suspensions

The data show that pre-K students of color are being suspended and expelled at a much higher rate.