The Department of Education is a vertically and horizontally differentiated agency that administers financial aid for education, oversees research into schools across the country, and enforces federal anti-discrimination laws. The department focuses on education issues, such as the quality of education, as well as the achievement gaps between different groups of people. It also helps foster innovation in education by examining ways to improve education.
The department’s international mission includes representing the U.S. at meetings around the world. It works to build partnerships, exchange knowledge, and develop international education statistics. Many of these visitors are foreign ministers of education, educators, members of legislatures, the press, and the private sector. These visitors utilize the department’s web-based resources to gather information about U.S. education and its impact on education around the world.
The department’s mission evolved over time. During the Cold War, education funding was prioritized as a priority. Congressional funding for both K-12 and postsecondary education was authorized. Equal access to education was one of the responsibilities given to the ED in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, the ED enforces federal laws against school discrimination. There are more than two hundred million students across the country.
DeVos has a long history of supporting education. Her mother, who taught in a public school, sparked her interest in the subject. As a mom, she saw firsthand how not every child has the same opportunities to receive an excellent education. DeVos is a strong advocate of greater parental and educational choices. She is committed to making sure that higher education provides students with the skills necessary for a fulfilling career.