Chapter 3 - Reflection and Inquiry - 2. Should the USDOE exist? Support your position.
The US Department of Education is an agency of the federal government that provides federal assistance for education. This department's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for competitiveness in the global economy.
According to Gordon, Taylor & Oliva (2019), the USDOE is responsible for many things including funding projects and providing assistance in educational research. This department gives educators the opportunity to submit proposals for grants, serve as curriculum experts in national curriculum efforts, and make recommendations on national curriculum proposals. Even though this department provides opportunities and assistance, many educators and influential voices in education do not feel that the USDOE should exist at all.
There are countless articles, webpages, etc. seeking to abolish the US Department of Education. The USDOE has been responsible for many changes in education that educational professionals are not happy with and have not impacted student achievement like they were intended to. Initiatives such as Goals 2000: Educate America Act and The No Child Left Behind Act of 2011 were efforts made by the federal government to increase student academic success. These examples have not made the impact intended and have been criticized by educational professionals throughout the United States. "...education in the USA is a function of the states, according to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution..." (Gordon, Taylor & Oliva, 2019, p.65) If education is intended to be a function of state and local governments, then why does the federal government continue to make efforts to reform education?
The US Department of Education should exist, but the role of this department should change considerably. State and local governments should absolutely be in charge of decisions regarding the education of our nation's students. According to Miller (2014), the federal government should create a set of constitutional guarantees for all students and give states and districts the authority to meet these guarantees in ways that they find appropriate. The USDOE should be there to aid states in accomplishing their goals and providing assistance with funding for programs, "but the manner in which these funds are used should be reserved to the states." (Miller, 2014, p.628) The way in which the federal government has influenced public education has created countless problems and while the USDOE should exist, its role desperately needs to change.
- Gordon, W. R., Taylor, R. T., & Oliva, P. F. (2019). Developing the Curriculum: Improved outcomes through systems approaches. New York, NY: Pearson.
- Miller, J. (2014). Telling Schools What to Do, Not How to Do It: Reimagining the Federal Government’s Role in Public Education. McGeorge Law Review, 46(3), 605–628.
- U.S. Department of Education (2015). Fundamental change: Innovation in America’s schools under race to the top. Office of State Support, Washington, DC: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.