Department of Education

Department of Education Mission Statement

  • Strengthen the Federal commitment to assuring access to equal educational opportunity for every individual;
  • Supplement and complement the efforts of states, the local school systems and other instrumentalities of the states, the private sector, public and private nonprofit educational research institutions, community-based organizations, parents, and students to improve the quality of education;
  • Encourage the increased involvement of the public, parents, and students in Federal education programs;
  • Promote improvements in the quality and usefulness of education through Federally supported research, evaluation, and sharing of information;
  • Improve the coordination of Federal education programs;
  • Improve the management of Federal education activities; and
  • Increase the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress, and the public.

Overview of Department of Education

ED was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. ED’s 4,200 employees and $63.7 billion budget are dedicated to:

  • Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
  • Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research.
  • Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
  • Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

Cyber/Information Technology Trends

On the “mission” side of the department an Office of Educational Technology provides leadership related to use of technology to enhance education.

Director of the Office of Educational Technology (OET) is Karen Cator. Their role is to provide leadership for maximizing technology’s contribution to improving education at all levels. OET develops national educational technology policy and ensures that Department educational technology programs are coordinated and consistent, and support efforts across the federal government. In addition, OET supports the Department’s Mission and the President’s and Secretary’s priorities by leveraging the best modern technology.

And the department also has an enterprise CIO office. From their website: “OCIO provides the technological solutions that enable the Department of Education to deliver world-class service to schools, students and their families. To accomplish its mission, OCIO advises and assists the Secretary and other senior officers in acquiring information technology (IT) and managing information resources. OCIO helps these leaders comply with the best practices in the industry and applicable federal laws and regulations, including the Clinger Cohen Act, the Government Paperwork Reduction Act and the Federal Information Security Management Act. In addition, the agency’s Chief Information Officer is charged with establishing a management framework that leads the agency toward more efficient and effective operations, including improved planning and control of IT investments.”

There are a growing number of Cyber education programs across the country – these programs need support from public and private citizens to ensure their success and we see the department as increasing their contribution to cyber awareness.

These are the services that the DoE is moving to the cloud:

  • Survey Services
  • Agency Private Cloud Services
  • Email


The department faces many common cyber challenges, but with a bias towards the mission end it can be hard for the CIO and CISO to articulate the security challenges of the department to their leadership. Interactions with the CIO and CISO should start with a respect for their challenges in fiscal and mission areas.

Related articles