Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Federal

Why Federal Agencies With a Hand in K-12 Must Work Together

By Andrew Ujifusa — February 01, 2021 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

When Dan Gordon was an attorney in the Justice Department’s civil rights division for education during the Clinton and second Bush administrations, much of the time he felt like he was in a silo.

He didn’t feel very connected to the U.S. Department of Education, aside from the times when he and his colleagues were referred cases from the agency’s office for civil rights. But Gordon said it doesn’t have to be that way, and that it’s not necessarily how the federal government operates all the time.

When the federal government examines education policy from the perspective of different agencies, he said, the goal ultimately is to help children by thinking about the various forces that impact their lives. One test for President Joe Biden’s team on this front will be how the agencies actually implement his new executive order to prioritize racial equity in policy decisions across agencies, he said.

“When you don’t communicate and collaborate and think in systems, I think the natural result is a less- efficient government, a less-effective government,” said Gordon, who is now the senior legal and policy adviser for EducationCounsel, an education consulting firm.

See Also

Image of President Biden.
iStock/Getty + Jeff Roberson/AP<br/>

That goes for Democrats and Republicans alike, he stressed, irrespective of their different philosophies about the federal role in education.

GOP officials, he said, should think across government agencies to avoid confusion and waste. Democrats who focus on priorities such as regulations and guidance, he said, need to make sure different cabinet-level departments are in sync during that proactive process.

It’s also worth keeping in mind the size and complexity of the overall operation.

“The entire federal government is not like a speed boat,” Gordon said. “It’s a cruise ship.”

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Miguel Cardona in the Hot Seat: 4 Takeaways From a Contentious House Hearing
FAFSA, rising antisemitism, and Title IX dominated questioning at a U.S. House hearing with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
6 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill on May 7 in Washington.
Mariam Zuhaib/AP
Federal Arming Teachers Could Cause 'Accidents and More Tragedy,' Miguel Cardona Says
"This is not in my opinion a smart option,” the education secretary said at an EdWeek event.
4 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Federal Opinion Should Migrant Families Pay Tuition for Public School?
The answer must reflect an outlook that is pro-immigration, pro-compassion, and pro-law and order, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Image of a pencil holder filled with a variety of colored pencils that match the background with international flags.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Federal New Title IX Rule Could Actually Simplify Some Things for Districts, Lawyers Say
School districts could field more harassment complaints, but they can streamline how they handle them, according to legal experts.
7 min read
Illustration of checklist.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus