U.S. Department of Education

Located in Washington, DC, and in regional offices throughout the United States, the U.S. Department of Education plays a large role in shaping educational policies and programs in the United States through impacting the actions of researchers, parents, community practitioners, and policy makers. The agency supplements and supports state and local school systems to ensure that all U.S. citizens receive access to educational resources. This entry describes the department’s history, duties, and organization.


Although the U.S. Department of Education was not formally created until 1980, the United States has collected systematic data about schools and teachers and used this information to shape policy since the 1860s. Prior to the creation of the department, a bureau known as the Office of Education distributed federal funding to support ...

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