Biden Administration: What Can They Accomplish via EO?

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Biden Administration: What Can They Accomplish via EO?

As the odds of Democrats winning a majority of the Senate look highly unlikely, much of the conversation in D.C. has shifted to what the Biden Administration can accomplish via Executive Orders or through their administrative powers. Over the summer, the Biden campaign published the results of a Democrat unity taskforce they led with Senator Bernie Sanders which contains policy proposals, both legislative and executive, that would unite the party. While the majority of them do require Congressional approval, there are some policies that the American Prospect has identified that the Biden Administration could execute via Executive Order that directly impact public school students and policies. Here is a brief list of actions Biden could take unilaterally to change or influence district policies and practices:

Fully implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, which gives states the option to choose school climate as an indicator of school quality; all states must describe how they will plan to support districts in reducing the use of policies and practices that push students out of school.

Encourage states to adopt and develop a multiple measures approach to assessment, like the New York Performance Standards Consortium and the International Baccalaureate so students can showcase what they know in a variety of ways.

Provide support to districts to best meet the needs of their students during the crisis and beyond. This includes crafting recovery plans with an equity lens and determining how to responsibly use remote learning as an emergency tool when necessary and returning to face to face classrooms when conditions allow. Digitize all necessary educational materials and ensure access to hardware, software, and particularly broadband for all students and educators.

Ban for-profit private charter businesses from receiving federal funding.

Appoint a federal task force to study charter schools' impact on public education and make recommendations

Initiate a series of reforms regarding parent and community participation in charter governance, accountability and transparency

Support the six recommendations from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development report, "From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope," as well as the action agenda.

Require the Secretaries of Education and HHS to develop federal standards for ensuring that all federally funded childcare settings include children with disabilities and do not discriminate on the basis of disability.

Address the shortage in special education teachers within our system with an eye towards teacher recruitment, training opportunities, and workload for special education teachers

Aggressively enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address both programmatic and architectural barriers

Work with higher education institutions to support a career path for early childhood educators to attain early childhood certificates (CDAs), associate and bachelor's degrees, and ongoing job-embedded training and professional development and create a career path for lead teachers in preschool classrooms to have a bachelor’s degree in child development and/or early childhood education and assistant teachers to have an associate’s degree in child development.

Improve federal data collection on racial segregation in schools as part of a broader project of reinvigorating Ed's Office of Civil Rights.

Maintain the U.S. Department of Education’s current level of Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) by preserving the existing questions and disaggregation of data by student subgroups, requiring all schools and districts to collect and report the data annually and continuing to make the CRDC accessible to the public.

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