Talk:United States Department of Education

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Can someone explain how the ED is constitutional? I was under the impression that the 10th amendment limited federal powers to those explicitly laid out in the constitution. Stuff like mints, regulating currency, post offices, congress, etc... but doesnt mention regulating education which, according to the constitution, should be left up to the states, along with everything else not explicitly listed. So how can acts get passed that allow for a department of education?

anybody know how this works? 10:10, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

That's a good question. I genuinely would like to hear a reasonable argument supporting its constitutionality. I think it's one of those things that has been unquestioned for so long that the rising generation doesn't really question it. That's the problem with conservatism as a political philosophy-- it's guiding principal is a strong bias for the status quo. Once something becomes commonplace, conservatives defend it with the rest of the institution. As Hayek said-- "It has, for this reason, invariably been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing. The tug of war between conservatives and progressives can only affect the speed, not the direction, of contemporary developments. But, though there is a need for a "brake on the vehicle of progress," I personally cannot be content with simply helping to apply the brake. What the liberal must ask, first of all, is not how fast or how far we should move, but where we should move. In fact, he differs much more from the collectivist radical of today than does the conservative. While the last generally holds merely a mild and moderate version of the prejudices of his time, the liberal today must more positively oppose some of the basic conceptions which most conservatives share with the socialists."

[note: the term "liberal" here is not used as it is currently used in the United States]

I believe that the conventional argument is that, as Article I, Section 8 gives the power to levy taxes "to provide for the general welfare," the Department of Education's disbursement of tax money as student loans and grants, as well as grants to states and school districts, is thereby one of the powers enumerated in the Constitution. This is debatable, but by challenging it you would also be challenging the basis for Social Security and federal welfare programs.

You remarks on conservatism are incorrect. Conservatives today are actually opposed to government intervention and would leave education up to the states, as the original poster said was originally in the Constitution. -- (talk) 00:23, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Like many other things the federal government does, the DoED is held to be constitutional under Justice Wm Brennan's infamous Rule of Five (which Wikipedia's article on Brennan does not mention, of course). NCdave (talk) 11:55, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

Raw Material to edit into content[edit]

(How much to integrate into article? )

  • The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students ( administers programs designed to enable students with limited English proficiency to become proficient in English and meet challenging state academic content and student achievement standards.
  • The Office for Civil Rights ( enforces federal statutes that prohibit discrimination in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
  • The Office of Educational Research and Improvement ( supports research and demonstration projects to improve education; collects and analyzes education statistics; disseminates information on research findings and education statistics; and provides technical assistance to those working to improve education.
  • The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education ( provides leadership, technical assistance, and financial support to state and local education agencies for the maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary, and secondary education. OESE administers programs designed to advance the academic opportunities of the nation's neediest children.
  • The Office of Postsecondary Education ( is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy and administering grant programs and other initiatives that provide assistance to postsecondary education institutions for reform, innovation, and improvement. OPE is also responsible for the accrediting agency recognition process and for coordinating with the states on matters that affect institutional participation in federal financial assistance programs.
  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services ( supports programs designed to educate children with special needs; provides for the rehabilitation of youths and adults with disabilities; and supports research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.
  • The Office of Federal Student Aid ( administers the systems and products related to providing billions of dollars annually in federal financial aid to millions of students pursuing postsecondary education and training opportunities. The office provides information and forms for students applying for loans, grants, and work-study funds, as well as technical information for financial aid administrators, lending institutions, auditors, and others in the field. In 1998, this office became the first performance-based organization in the federal government, with increased accountability for results and greater flexibility in operations.
  • The Office of Vocational and Adult Education ( supports a wide range of programs and activities that prepare people for employment and that provide adults with basic skills necessary to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent.

History Section Needs Updating[edit]

Needs bias check, sources cited. Current history seems more focused on an opinion. A historical timeline would be useful. Factician 14:55, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I will remove the tag because I haven't seen any further comment on the talk page since your comment.  :I added sources and changed that section to read "Opposition" rather than "History" and also created a separate Establishment section.--Gloriamarie 19:17, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for contributing the "establishment" section. It was the closest thing to what I was looking for, an idea how the US managed education compared to other countries, and how it managed education before creation of ED. (talk) 23:20, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Article states President Carter signed the bill to create the department in October 1976; however, Carter didn't become President until January 1977. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:46, 25 January 2010 (UTC)


What does the Ed Dept do? And why? Each state has many teachers and people with PhDs to figure stuff out. How is the budget spent? It is $10,000,000 per employee. (talk) 08:59, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

This article doesn't clearly explain what the department does. Needs work. Let99 (talk) 05:18, 15 October 2010 (UTC)


I added a section about the organization of the department, but it's just a list right now. It could probably use some definitions.

JordanLyons (talk) 00:51, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Establishment section[edit]

Has anyone else noticed that, based on the information provided under the heading of "Establishment," it looks like George W. Bush established the DOE? Shuldn't "Establishment" cover the actual history of the Department, not just what Bush did with it a year ago? User: Snyrt —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this was caused by vandalism from over a year ago; I've fixed it. Graham87 10:01, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

No Child Left Behind[edit]

In this section there is stat that the department grew by 69.6% between 2002 and 2004. The referenced article states: "The Department of Education itself has grown by 69.6 percent between 2002 and 2004: from $46,282 million in FY2002 to $60,600 million in FY2004." That looks to me like 30.9% growth, not 69.6%. Unless someone can show me why this is OK, I'm going to remove the stat. Delius1967 (talk) 18:12, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


I've added the alternate abbreviation DoED to the opening sentence. That abbreviation was already mentioned in the Etymology section, and it is used both internally at the Dept. of Education and externally as an abbreviation for Dept. of Education. NCdave (talk) 11:37, 26 December 2013 (UTC)