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Center on Education Policy

During hearings in the late 1980s on education legislation, the frustrated chairman of the Education and Labor Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Gus Hawkins (D-CA), would sometimes lean over to his chief counsel and ask: Why can't these people agree on the facts? If they did that, we could solve these problems quickly. That question planted an idea in the counsel, John (Jack) Jennings, which took him into a second long career as founder and CEO of a unique fact-gathering initiative, the Center on Education Policy (CEP). Launched in January 1995, CEP began with ambitious, if somewhat unformed, intentions and little money. Its first forays into educating the public about public education were modest and almost totally grassroots. Seventeen years later, a December 2011 report on Adequate Yearly Progress under the No Child Left Behind Act reached millions of listeners and readers through media channels that stretched from Maine to Alaska, from the New York Times to the local newspaper for San Francisco's Russian community. This paper describes the beginning and the development of the Center on Education Policy from 1995 to 2012. Appended are: (1) CEP Board Members; and (2) List of foundations providing support.

Descriptors: Educational Policy, Role of Education, Information Centers, Organizations (Groups), History, Time Perspective, Democracy, Politics of Education, Political Attitudes, Observation, Reports, Public Education, Federal Legislation, Information Dissemination, Reliability, Institutional Mission, School Turnaround, Educational Improvement, Academic Achievement, Federal Programs, Bias

Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail: cep-dc[at]; Web site:

Autor: Lewis, Anne


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