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Education Policy Internships

American education is at a crossroads.  President Obama, Secretary Duncan, and members of the House and Senate are working hard through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to level the educational playing field so that poor and minority children have an equal opportunity to learn and thrive; states and districts are taking bold steps to turn around their failing schools.  


But the status quo is strong and stubborn: throughout the country, in every state, many poor and minority children still attend low-performing schools with inadequate facilities and overwhelmed teachers.  Inequities in educational funding, resources and opportunities, coupled with “one size fits all” zero tolerance policies that suspend and expel children of color at an alarming rate, feed and fuel the cradle to prison pipeline. 


The Children’s Defense Fund’s Education Policy Department is committed to dismantling that pipeline by addressing the education needs of our most vulnerable children:  children living and attending school in areas of concentrated poverty; children in danger of dropping out of school or who have already dropped out of school; children who have been suspended or expelled and/or arrested, children in foster care, and children in the Juvenile Justice system.


Interns in Education Policy will be expected to do the following:

  • Research, analyze, and write reports on issues relevant to education policy reform including education funding; resegregation; the causes and costs of high school dropout; school discipline policies; the educational needs of children in foster care; and education services provided to students in the juvenile justice system.
  • Identify and survey promising policies, practices and programs in states and communities that are designed to put children and youth on a path to success.
  • Read and analyze reports and studies on relevant issues such as poverty, early childhood development and education.
  • Track federal legislation relevant for CDF's policy agenda and monitor hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill.
  • Participate in meetings and strategy sessions with advocacy groups on a variety of issues.

This work is ideal for students who are studying:

  • Education
  • Public Policy or Public Administration (particularly education policy)