EducationDemocratic societies extol education as a means of providing people with equal opportunities, a goal that American political culture values. Americans have always left education to state governments and have shied away from too much federal control. As a result, American students do not always receive equal educational opportunities.The Federal Role in Education For most of American history, the federal government played little or no role in education. Education was thought to be a local issue, best regulated by local and state governments. In 1965, with the passage of the Higher Education Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the federal government provided funding for education for the first time. In 1979, Congress created the Department of Education, which heralded a new level of federal involvement in education. Recently, many education advocates have pushed for stronger accountability from teachers and schools. This accountability comes in the form of standardized tests, which evaluate
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