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About
Rachel perera
Expert

Rachel M. Perera

Fellow – The Brookings Institution, Governance Studies, Brown Center on Education Policy

Rachel M. Perera is a fellow in the Governance Studies program for the Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings. Her research examines how racial and socioeconomic inequalities develop in K-12 education and the consequences of policies designed to reduce educational inequality. Her current work focuses on civil rights and education, school discipline, and COVID-19 recovery. She also studies the politics of education policymaking, examining issues related to private school choice and charter schools as well as school boards.

She earned her Ph.D. in policy analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, where she was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellow. Perera also holds an M.P.A. from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University and a B.A. in history and political science from Hofstra University. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Perera spent five years with Teach For America, most recently serving as director of research partnerships.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Educational Equity, Civil Rights and Education, School Discipline, School Choice
  • Past Positions

    • Director of Research Partnerships, Teach For America
  • Education

    • Ph.D., Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    • M. Phil., Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    • M.P.A., Public Policy Analysis, New York University
    • B.A., Political Science and History, Hofstra University

Media Coverage

The Hill March 9, 2024

“This is not the type of incident that is typically the inciting incident of a Department of Ed investigation like this…”

Read the commentary
The Guardian October 14, 2023

“California’s decision to ban defiance suspensions is an acknowledgement that the criteria for these kinds of suspensions is overly broad.”

Education Week September 28, 2023

“In these political debates happening in state houses and at the district level, this notion that eliminating suspensions will create more disruptive schools is so prevalent…”

The Associated Press January 21, 2023

“There’s a lot of pressure on schools right now…Schools also say they don’t have the resources to address more behavioral problems, and I worry that that will translate to schools..."

Chalkbeat August 2, 2022

“It’s positive that they’re making those connections for people,” said Rachel M. Perera, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy who has studied civil..."

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