The Department of Education: Its History, Mission, and Programs

The Department of Education: Its History, Mission, and Programs

The Department of Education (ED) is a cabinet-level department of the United States government responsible for the nation’s public education system. It was founded in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The ED’s mission is to “ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the Nation.” It does this by providing funding, technical assistance, and other resources to state and local education agencies. The ED also administers a number of federal education programs, including the Head Start program, the Pell Grant program, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The ED is led by the Secretary of Education, who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The current Secretary of Education is Miguel Cardona.

The ED is divided into several offices and agencies, each of which is responsible for a different aspect of education. These offices and agencies include:

  • The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • The Office of Postsecondary Education
  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
  • The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education
  • The Office of Educational Technology
  • The Office of Innovation and Improvement
  • The Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development
  • The Office of Federal Student Aid
  • The Office of Civil Rights
  • The Office of the Inspector General

The ED plays a vital role in ensuring that all students have access to a quality education. Its programs and services help to level the playing field for students from all backgrounds and to prepare them for success in college, career, and life.