The Department of Education was enacted as a cabinet level entity during the Carter administration. The purpose was to interact and harmonize the US educational goals with the ministries of education of other nations, particularly the G7 countries.
My friend, Charlotte Iserbyt, accepted a Senior Policy Advisor at the Dept of Ed as a Reagan appointee based on the stated goal of abolished the federal Dept of Ed. When she found that far from abolishing it, the United States was involved in significant “educational exchanges” with the Soviet Union where we were adopting their expertise in “training a compliant Workforce” in exchange for giving them our technology, she blew the whistle and was fired.
She has two websites with thousands of files in PDF format available for free download:
Google her name if you want more info on Charlotte Iserbyt. She’s written many articles and there are numerous videos of her interviews on Youtube.