Cynthia G.

Senior Fellow


Cynthia G. Brown

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Cynthia G. Brown is a senior fellow at American Progress. She was previously the vice president for Education Policy at American Progress and formerly served as director of the “Renewing Our Schools, Securing Our Future National Task Force on Public Education,” a joint initiative of the Center for American Progress and the Institute for America’s Future. Brown has spent more than 35 years working in a variety of professional positions addressing high-quality, equitable public education.

Prior to joining American Progress, she was an independent education consultant who advised and wrote for local and state school systems, education associations, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and a corporation. From 1986 through September 2001, Brown served as director of the Resource Center on Educational Equity of the Council of Chief State School Officers. In 1980, she was appointed by President Carter as the first assistant secretary for civil rights in the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that position, she served as principal deputy of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare’s Office for Civil Rights. Subsequent to this government service, she was co-director of the nonprofit Equality Center. Before the Carter administration, she worked for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Children’s Defense Fund, and began her career in the HEW Office for Civil Rights as an investigator.

Brown has a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a B.A. from Oberlin College. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Youth Policy Forum and Perry Street Preparatory Public Charter School.

Latest by Cynthia G. Brown

Investing in Our Children Report
Preschoolers enjoy a variety of break activities at a Head Start program in Hillsboro, Oregon. (AP/Greg Wahl-Stephens)

Investing in Our Children

As we continue to combat rising economic inequality, high-quality early childhood investments will help all children realize their full potential and provide enormous long-term benefits to society.

Cynthia G. Brown, Donna Cooper, Juliana Herman, 4 More Melissa Lazarín, Michael Linden, Sasha Post, Neera Tanden

The Persistence of Educational Inequality Article
Eighty-two percent of Title I districts—those school districts that  receive federal funding to provide extra resources for the neediest  students—had at least one Title I school with lower state and local  per-pupil expenditures than the average of non-Title I schools at the  same grade level in that district. (AP/Patrick Collard)

The Persistence of Educational Inequality

Raegen Miller and Cynthia Brown highlight a new Department of Education report that shows how U.S. school districts are unevenly distributing their state and local funds, shortchanging schools that serve low-income students.

Raegen Miller, Cynthia G. Brown

Teacher Pension Reform Article
Fourth graders listen to their teacher, Mianca Delatte, at Fischer Elementary charter school on the first day of school for charter schools in New Orleans, Monday, August 7, 2006. (AP/Alex Brandon)

Teacher Pension Reform

Cynthia G. Brown and Sarah Rosen Wartell present two papers from the Center for American Progress that examine this question.

Cynthia G. Brown, Sarah Rosen Wartell

Education Waivers 101 Article
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. (AP/Tony Dejak)

Education Waivers 101

Cynthia Brown and Jeremy Ayers explain why the Department of Education will offer waivers that allow states to forego ineffective requirements in No Child Left Behind.

Cynthia G. Brown, Jeremy Ayers

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