Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
U.S. Department of Education
Donna Sue McCaw
The role of the U.S. Department of Education seems clear to most educators today: carry out congressional mandates, fund research, support the use of scientific evidence-based research strategies, “regulate” preschool through postgraduate education, vocational education, and special education; and collect and disseminate national performance data. The U.S. Constitution did not specifically identify public education as a federal responsibility. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution placed education on the list of states' rights and responsibilities. As America grew, so did the need to govern all aspects of citizenship. In 1789, George Washington's cabinet of advisors—the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and War—and the Attorney General's offices were created. Over time, additional cabinet posts such as the Secretary of the Interior and the Postmaster General followed. Proponents of public education soon began the call for the creation of a Department of Education. The debate temporarily ended in 1867 when, through the legislative creation ...