A secretary who seems to distrust the concept of public education.
The U.S. Department of Education is now headed by a secretary who seems to distrust the concept of public education. Meanwhile, some Republicans remain committed to eliminating the department altogether. In 2002, D.T. Stallings traced the department’s controversial history.
U.S. education has always been mostly a local affair, but over the course of the twentieth century the federal government’s engagement in schools grew. Some of the most significant federal laws providing funds for low-income students and guaranteeing equal education to kids with disabilities were already on the books before the Education Department was formed in 1979.
At first, when President Jimmy Carter gave education cabinet-level status in his administration, Stallings writes, the department didn’t do much. Its first secretary, Shirley Hufstedler, promised not to step on the toes of local education authorities and saw her role partly as raising awareness about “the good work classroom teachers do.”
Posted on 03/09/2017 at 08:32:00 AM