U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan, who is trying to tear down those silos that dot the federal bureaucracy landscape, announced today a new interagency board on early education.
This partnership between the Education Department and Health and Human Services is supposed to, according to the press release: improve the quality of early learning programs and outcomes for young children; increase the coordination of research, technical assistance and data systems; and advance the effectiveness of the early learning workforce among the major federally funded early learning programs across the two departments.
Duncan has talked about such partnerships before, particularly when it comes to school nutrition (which is mostly under the jurisdiction of Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack).
It’s also worth noting that Duncan isn’t the first education secretary to try to deal with bureaucratic barriers that stem from education-related programs not always being housed in the Department of Education (think Head Start, which is under HHS). Former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings was also a fan of interagency cooperation, including when it came to school safety.