I believe the modern Dept. of Education, like the Dept. of Energy, was created in the 1970s by Jimmy Carter. I'm sure it must be pure coincidence that when the Federal Govt took over, public schools began to decline. We might have good universities but K-12 public schools are the pits. As a product of a 1960s education, I am astounded at how ignorant those who came after me are. A grand design? You betcha. How else could the Dems create the mindless mob the dominates their party?
The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, was superintendent of schools for Chicago before assuming the federal post under Ovomit. Chicago's public schools are the lowest in the country for the quality. In fact, only Mexico City's schools are worse.