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US Department of Education

A custom written research paper could begin: As one of the most prominent government agencies, the United States Department of Education focuses their energies on ensuring that students at all levels in the nation have equal access to education and equal opportunities to excel. The Department works to challenge school districts and educational programs to promote critical analysis and thinking in students; they work towards improving the outcome of education for all students.

Goals of the US Department of Education

US Department of Education

Since its inception in 1980, the Department of Education has worked toward a number of educational initiatives, each designed to improve the educational performance of our nation's students in the public education system. Today, these programs are still the focal point of the department, and cover an array of topics and essential skills. Some are focused on practical tools that can be implemented in schools to improve the health and safety of students, including a program designed to raise awareness about the H1N1 flu. Others are service-oriented, such as the Help for Haiti program, designed to encourage the rebuilding of Haitian schools and universities following the disastrous earthquake of 2010. Still others focus on the future of education in America, turning to appropriate educator training programs and readiness initiatives to ensure that all children are prepared to excel when placed in the classroom environment. By focusing on the present and the future simultaneously, the United States Department of Education works for utter excellence among our nation's students, whether they are primary or secondary students.

 The United States Department of Education has four main goals for promoting education and student achievement. They are (US Dept. of Ed.):

  1. Establishes policies related to federal education funding, administers distribution of funds and monitors their use.
  2. Collects data and oversees research on America's schools.
  3. Identifies major issues in education and focuses national attention on them.
  4. Enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in programs that receive federal funds.

Congress and the US Department of Education

Congress established the Department of Education in 1979 for the purposes of (US Dept. of Ed.):

  1. strengthening the Federal commitment to ensuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
  2. to supplement and complement the efforts of States, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the States, the private sector, public and private educational institutions, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
  3. to encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;
  4. to promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
  5. to improve the coordination of Federal education programs;
  6. to improve the management and efficiency of Federal education activities, especially with respect to the process, procedures, and administrative structures for the dispersal of Federal funds, as well as the reduction of unnecessary and duplicative burdens and constraints, including unnecessary paperwork, on the recipients of Federal funds; and
  7. to increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress and the public. (Section 102, Public Law 96-88)

The Department of Education was first envisioned by President Lyndon Johnson, as he struck out on a “War on Poverty” in America. Johnson saw the educational system as a means out of poverty if access to education could be equalized. As the Department matured into the 1970’s, equalization began to include racial minorities, women, people with disabilities and non-english speaking citizens of the United States.

One of the main tasks of the US Department of Education is to collect data on the educational system in America. Research is also a big part of their responsibilities and the facts and findings that the department correlates are available for all citizens via the internet. Through this research, the Department of Education gives recommendations to Congress regarding the direction of education in the United States. Furthermore, the research serves to call to attention problems or deficiencies in the education system and justifies the funding of federal dollars towards educational goals.

The Department of Education is one of the most important federal agencies in our governmental system. Since the educational standing in the United States has dropped in

comparison to other developed nations, citizens need to make certain that funding is not dropped or reduced for the department. This can be done by making sure each state’s congressmen and congress women recognize the value of education and support increasing funding for the United States Department of Education.