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Secretaries of Education

Department of Education SealThe U S. Department of Education is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The department's mission is to serve America's students — to ensure that all have equal access to education and to promote excellence in the nation's schools. The secretary is responsible for the overall direction, supervision, and coordination of all activities of the department and is the principal adviser to the president on federal policies, programs, and activities related to education in the United States.

Term of Service
Secretary Home State Administration
1979 - 1981
Shirley Hufstedler California Carter
1981 - 1985
Terrel Bell Utah Reagan
1985 - 1988
William J. Bennett New York Reagan
1988 - 1989
Lauro F. Cavazos Texas Reagan
1989 - 1991
G.H.W. Bush
1991 - 1993
Lamar Alexander Tennessee G.H.W. Bush
1993 - 2001
Richard W. Riley South Carolina Clinton
2001 - 2004
Roderick Paige Texas G.W. Bush
Margaret Spellings Texas G.W. Bush

See cabinet officers sorted by administration.