Jennifer Coco

Guest Blogger

Attorney/Advocate, National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (“the Center”)

New Orleans, Louisiana

Jennifer Coco is an attorney and advocate passionate about education law and policy and achieving equity for kids. In the course of her career, Jennifer has consistently advocated for systemic change to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, particularly within the areas of special education, ending the school to prison pipeline and English learner programs.

Prior to joining the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (“the Center”), Jennifer was the founding Director of Policy and Advocacy at New Pathways New Orleans and an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She is proud to have achieved systemic change for New Orleans students with disabilities in federal court and through local policy reform and to have served as the first elected Chairwoman of the Louisiana Advisory Council on Student Behavior and Discipline.

Jennifer currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, a local organization that provides community-based mental health services. Jennifer received her law degree from the DePaul University College of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

RECENT POSTS

Posted Nov. 25, 2020

We Need a Cooperative Approach to Improve Education for Students With Disabilities

Ten years ago last month, a team of advocacy organizations filed the New Orleans special education lawsuit (P.B. v. White)…

By Jennifer Coco

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Posted Dec. 1, 2021

When Charters Grow From Communities, They Can and Do Increase Equity

BES (Build, Excel, Sustain) started its Fellowship program 20 years ago to support school leaders with the preparation and professional development they needed to design,…

By Aasimah Navlakhi

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Posted Dec. 1, 2021

The Gifted and Talented Debates Aren’t About Rigor, They’re About Access

An interesting, complicated, and rather polarizing trend is going around in American education, and it has to do with special admission schools and the designation…

By Zachary Wright 

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Posted Nov. 30, 2021

Principals Must Be Hope Dealers In Schools and Communities

During a recent conversation, Murleen Coakley, principal of Greenfield Union in the Detroit Public Schools Community District, reminded me how much being a great principal…

By Robert Simmons

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