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Hello and welcome to the Center on Education Policy (CEP).

Author(s): Maria Ferguson
Published: July 20, 2012

Hello and welcome to the Center on Education Policy (CEP).

My name is Maria Ferguson and I am the new Executive Director of CEP, which is now an independent center housed at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD). For those of you who have come to our website before, you likely know that the founder and former president and chief operating officer Jack Jennings, recently retired after serving as an exemplar of thoughtful, intelligent leadership for 17 years. Jack is a legend to all of us in education policy and following in his footsteps is both humbling and thrilling.

CEP’s staff has managed the transition to their new home beautifully. I am thrilled to be part of such an amazing organization and will work hard to chart a new path with a clear sense of purpose and impact, with a bright eye towards the future.  To that end, many people have asked me what CEP’s move to GWU means for the organization.  Although this relationship is new for both CEP and GWU, I can tell you this much:

CEP will continue to be an independent source of information and resources to support and improve public education in the U.S.  CEP does not represent any special interests and will remain a completely independent source of information about education policy and practice amid the conflicting opinions and perceptions about public education. 

CEP will continue to act as a voice for public education by reporting on the impact of federal and state education policies. We will continue to convene people with differing points of view and foster a reasoned debate on public education. And we will look for opportunities to grow and develop new areas of work that are consistent with our mission and take advantage of the many resources at GWU. An important goal of CEP is to help citizens better understand the role of public education in a democracy. In order to do this, citizens must understand the laws and policies that structure education at the local, state and federal levels, and how these laws and policies affect teaching and learning.  All of us will continue to work hard to honor CEP’s legacy of being an honest and trusted broker of information about education policy. 

You should continue to expect the same caliber of excellent information and resources from CEP that so many people have come to expect and appreciate.  As a longtime end user of CEP’s research and information, I know the value this organization has for education leaders, policymakers and the public. Thankfully CEP’s staff remains intact: Deputy Director Diane Stark Rentner, Research Associate Shelby McIntosh; Senior Research Associate Jennifer McMurrer; Office Manager Susie Pamudji; and longtime CEP consultants Naomi Chudowsky, Nancy Kober, and Caitlin Scott remain key members of the CEP team.  CEP’s Alexandra Usher will begin a Master’s program in public policy at the University of Chicago this fall. 

CEP is incredibly fortunate to now be part of the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Led by Dean Michael Feuer, the staff and faculty at GSEHD have made CEP’s transition smooth and easy. We are all excited about the people and resources that GSEHD brings to CEP’s world. The faculty and students at the University represent an incredible pool of talent and knowledge that we are lucky enough to now have as colleagues. We look forward to mutually supporting one another’s efforts so we can all engage more fully in analysis of education policy issues. 

I hope you will visit  again and often. I encourage you to take advantage of the many resources on this website. You can find out more information about CEP and its new home at GWU by following the links below. Do not hesitate to email me directly with any questions or concerns:


Maria Ferguson bio
Michael Feuer bio
GSEHD website

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