Michael K. Yudin

Guest Blogger

Principal, The Raben Group

Michael K. Yudin is principal at The Raben Group. Prior to joining the firm, Michael worked on behalf of the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Education for six years, serving the secretary in a number of capacities, including assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, and acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

In his capacity as assistant secretary, Michael led the Department’s efforts to effectively administer twenty-two federal disability grant programs, totaling approximately $15 billion, designed to improve the educational and employment outcomes of infants, toddlers, children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Working with the secretary and other senior leaders across the Department of Education, Members of Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies, he helped guide the formulation, development, and implementation of policy designed to ensure equal opportunity and access to, and excellence in, education and employment for individuals with disabilities.

In particular, Michael worked to ensure students with disabilities were held to the highest standards and expectations, improve postsecondary education and employment opportunities, and address issues of racial and ethnic disparities in special education. He also helped the Department with implementation of the newly reauthorized ESEA. Michael also took a leadership role in the Department’s efforts to Rethink Discipline, promoting alternatives to exclusionary discipline policies that disproportionately exclude students of color and students with disabilities from the classroom.

Additionally, Michael served on a number of interagency boards and committees, including as a member of the Early Childhood Interagency Policy Board, co-chair of the Federal Partners in Transition, and as chair of the U.S. Access Board. As acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, he oversaw a number of the secretary’s critical priorities, including ESEA flexibility and initiatives to turn around low- performing schools and improve teacher and leader effectiveness.

Prior to joining the Department, Michael served nine years as a U.S. Senate staffer, serving as the legislative director for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, senior counsel to Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, and HELP Committee counsel to Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont.

Working for senior members of the HELP Committee, Michael helped draft, negotiate, and pass various pieces of legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, and reauthorization of the Head Start Act.

Before joining the Senate, Michael served as an attorney at the Social Security Administration and at the U.S. Department of Labor for nearly 10 years.


Posted Oct. 27, 2017

Dropping Special Education Guidance Requires a Little Explanation

The Trump administration recently rescinded 72 pieces of guidance related to special education and vocational rehabilitation services for children and…

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