Remarks on the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of the U.S. Department of Education: The Transformation of Federal Education Politics

Nela McCluskey Chris Cross Ron Kimberling Kevin Kosar 04-2020

Source: Cato.org. Kosar remarks start at 29:50.

Chris Cross and Ron Kimberling have spoken of the creation of the Department of Education and its earliest years in operation.

My own comments will focus on a broader issue of the Department of Education (ED) and the transformation of federal education politics. The establishment of ED was a major moment.

In short, the creation of the Department of Education rang the death knell for the very long national debate over the propriety of federal involvement in K-12 schooling. 

Consider one point: Forty years ago, it was well within the bounds of political discourse to argue that we do not need a Department of Education. Today, anyone who takes that position waved off as a libertarian or troglodytic paleoconservative. Today, you cannot be president by arguing that we really do not need a Department of Education. Continue reading “Remarks on the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of the U.S. Department of Education: The Transformation of Federal Education Politics”

1833 act compensating Mississippi landowners to fund school building

1833 Mississippi school land deal
Source: https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=006/llsl006.db&recNum=630

Here’s an interesting law. This private bill seems to have said that two individuals who owned land should be compensated for their land and the land be given to erect schools. How much they were to be compensated is unsaid. presumably that decision was delegated to the U.S. Treasury, but more research is needed.

Department of Education Abolition Act of 1868

Source: Statutes at Large
Source: Statutes at Large

It is a little known fact that the Department of Education was first established in 1867. Rep. James A. Garfield (R-OH) sponsored the legislation. The legislation authorized a mere three employees and its duties were few but not insignificant. President Andrew Johnson signed it.

Continue reading “Department of Education Abolition Act of 1868”

Goals 2000: Educate America Act

President William J Clinton signed the Goals 2000 Educate America Act (P.L. 103-227; 108 Stat. 125) on March 31, 1994.

The law had many aspects, not least was its aim to “provide a framework for meeting the National Education Goals,” which included ensuring “all children will start school ready to learn,” a high school graduation rate of “at least” 90%, and more.  All of these goals were to be achieved by the year 2000.

The full text of the Goals 2000 Educate America Act is accessible in the window below, and you also can see and download it at http://www.scribd.com/doc/57939480/Goals-2000-Educate-America-Act.