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U.S. Department of Education

  • By: Mary P. diSibio
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

The U.S. Department of Education is an agency within the federal government whose mission is to assure equal access to educational opportunity, improve the quality of education, encourage public involvement in education, and promote educational research (Department of Education Organization Act, 1979). In accordance with the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the primary responsibility for American education rests not with the federal government, but with the individual states (Jacob & Hartshorne, 2003). State governments, in turn, typically delegate responsibility for the daily operation of schools to local educational agencies, such as school boards and county offices of education. Thus, schools are built, curricula are established, and graduation requirements are set under the authority of state and local government. In comparison to these broad powers, ...

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