Cassius O. Johnson, an education policy analyst, will join the Carnegie Corporation of New York as a Program Officer working on the foundation’s New Designs for K-16 Pathways program. Johnson is an experienced education reformer, whose tenure at Jobs for the Future has been marked by his analysis of, and advocacy for, policy initiatives to increase the graduation rates and college readiness of urban and low-income students.
Johnson’s responsibilities at Carnegie Corporation will include identifying, cultivating and supporting organizations working to design and implement innovative and effective school designs, including those that use people, time, money and technology differently in K-16 education.
The Corporation’s New Designs program supports a portfolio of promising school models—especially those with aspects that have a strong research basis. The program also supports a significant proof-of-concept initiative to improve the usefulness, variety and affordability of education technology to help teachers more efficiently enable effective, personalized instruction.
Commenting on Cassius Johnson’s experience as an education policy analyst, Michele Cahill, Vice President, National Program at Carnegie Corporation, said, “Cassius Johnson has demonstrated both an informed and nuanced understanding of what is required to develop and support educational pathways to and through college for today’s youth and how to translate research and practice insights into policy. We are delighted that he is joining Carnegie Corporation to advance this work.”
Cassius Johnson is currently Associate Vice President at Jobs for the Future, where he leads the organization’s federal policy and national advocacy efforts to increase the number of low-income youth and adults who attain postsecondary credentials as part of Jobs for the Future’s broader mandate of identifying, developing and promoting job, education and training needs that expand opportunity.
“I am delighted to be joining the New Designs team at Carnegie Corporation and look forward to continuing to work to expand educational opportunities for low-income and minority young people," said Johnson.
Johnson joined Jobs for the Future in 2005 and played a key role in establishing the organization’s Washington, DC operations. In 2010, he testified before the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions committee on improving America’s secondary schools. Prior to joining Jobs for the Future, Johnson was Chief of Staff for a member of the Texas House of Representatives. He managed legislation focused on enhancing student disciplinary laws, improving alternative education programs and addressing the overall quality of education available to out-of-school youth populations in Texas. Cassius Johnson worked to build a diverse coalition of stakeholders to frame and pursue legislative and policy solutions, including organizing a statewide legislative summit to launch reform efforts.
Johnson received an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Bevill State Community College in Hamilton, Alabama, a B.A. in Political Science and Honors Studies from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and a Master’s in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Barbara Jordan Scholar.