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
Classroom Technology Webinar
Seamless Integrations for Engagement in the Classroom
Learn how to seamlessly integrate new technologies into your classroom to support student engagement. 
Content provided by GoGuardian
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
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning

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 Cardona Back-to-School Tour to Focus on Teacher Pipeline, Academic Recovery
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona will spend a week traveling to six states to highlight a range of K-12 priorities.
2 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona continues a tradition of on-site visits by the nation's top education official as the school year opens.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness: How Much Will It Help Teachers?
Advocates say Black educators—who tend to carry heavier debt loads—won't benefit as much.
5 min read
Illustration of student loans.
alexsl/iStock/Getty
Federal Q&A U.S. Education Secretary Cardona: How to Fix Teacher Shortages, Create Safe Schools
In an exclusive interview with Education Week, the secretary looks ahead to the challenges of this school year.
10 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, August 23, 2022.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona answers questions during an interview in his office in Washington on Aug. 23.
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
Federal Voters Want Republicans and Democrats to Talk About Learning Recovery, Not Culture Wars
A recent Democrats for Education Reform poll shows a disconnect between political candidates and voters on education issues.
4 min read
Image of voting and party lines.
TheaDesign/iStock/Getty