It is natural to desire only the best for your children, whether that is the best foods, the best playground, neighborhood, health care or schools. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to find the best and even once you've found "the best", you find out that it usually falls far short of being even "good". We live in a nation that remains the "best", but does that mean this nation is still "good"?
The following information was found on Answers.com relating to the Federal dept. of Education.;
Although the current DOE has existed for only a short time, its history dates back to 1867, when President Andrew Johnson signed legislation creating the first education department as a non-cabinet-level, autonomous agency. Within one year, the department was demoted to an office because Congress feared that the department would exercise too much control over local schools. Since the Constitution did not specifically mention education, Congress made clear its intention that the secretary of education and other officials be prohibited from exercising direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, instructional programs, administration, or personnel of any educational institution. Such matters are the responsibility of states, localities, and private institutions.
Over the next several decades the office remained small, operating under different titles and housed in various government agencies, including the U.S. Department of the Interior and the former U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
Beginning in 1950 political and social changes resulted in greatly expanded federal aid to education. The Soviet Union's successful launch of the satellite Sputnik in 1957 resulted in an increase in aid for improved education in the sciences. President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty in the 1960s involved many programs to improve education for poor people. In the 1970s these programs were expanded to include members of racial minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and non-English-speaking students.
In October 1979 Congress passed the Department of Education Organization Act (93 Stat. 668 [20 U.S.C.A. § 3508]), which established the current Department of Education. Since that time, the DOE has continued to expand its duties by taking an active role in education reform. In 1983 the DOE published A Nation at Risk, a report that described the deficiencies of U.S. schools, stating that mediocrity, not excellence, was the norm in public education. This led to the development in 1990 of a long-range plan to reform U.S. education by the year 2000.
Called America 2000: An Educational Strategy, the plan has eight goals: (1) all children will start school ready to learn by participating in preschool programs; (2) the high-school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent; (3) all students will leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency in English, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, art, history, and geography;(how have they done here?) (4) teachers will have opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills needed for preparing students for the twenty-first century; (5) students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement;(are we there yet?) (6) every adult will be literate and will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy;(not even close!) (7) every school will be free of drugs, violence, and the unauthorized presence of firearms and alcohol;(now they're just joking right?) and (8) every school will promote partnerships to increase parental involvement in the social, emotional, and academic growth of children.(couldn't be further from that goal if you tried.)
In the 1860s, federal education had a budget of $15,000 and 4 employees to handle education fact-finding. By 1965, the Office of Education employed 2,113 employees and had a budget of $1.5 billion. In 1995, the DOE administered about $33 billion, or about 2 percent of all federal spending, and had 4,900 employees, making it the smallest cabinet agency.
Has it been worth it?
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