What is the Department of Defense Education Activity?

Department of Defense Education ActivityIf you are currently a soldier who has children, you are probably wondering what exactly is the Department of Defense Education Activity. The Department of Defense Education Activity is a civilian agency of the United States Department of Defense that oversees all the schools for military children and teenagers in the United States and also overseas at American military bases worldwide. The Department of Defense Education Activity also provides educational support and number of resources to more than two million students who attend public schools throughout the United States. This important civilian agency is headed by an executive director who oversees all agency functions, personnel and operations in Washington, D.C. The Department of Defense Education Activity’s schools are divided into three major sections, each of which is led by an area director. Within each of these three areas, schools are organized into districts headed by superintendents.

How Did the Department of Defense Education Activity Get Started?

The Department of Defense Education Activity was established right after the end World War II. With a large number of soldiers stationed overseas in Europe, the United States army felt it necessary to establish schools for children of soldiers who were living overseas. The administered by the military branches they served, the growing number of schools was soon transferred to civilian managers. DoDEA schools in the United States sought out to serve the children of military and federal personnel were known as Section 6 schools as defined in federal guidelines.

How Does the Department of Defense Education Activity Monitor the Progress of Their Students?

Like any other large scale public-based education agency, the Department of Defense Education Activity takes an active role in monitoring student progress through the use of standardized tests. Students have to take the TerraNova achievement tests. This is required for students in grades three to 11. Every year, at every grade level tested, and in every subject area, students score above the national average. Activity students who are currently fourth and eight grade students also take the National Assessment of Educational Progress. This is a national standardized test that is commonly used in charter schools and other non-public school organizations. It should not be surprising that Activity student scores consistently rank at or near the top of the scale when compared with the scores of students in other parts of the country. Additionally, it should be noted that the test performance of African American and Hispanic students is among the highest in the nation. Although it is without a doubt still significant achievement gaps persist between white and ethnic students, the academic performance gap is far narrower for Activity students compared to other students throughout the country. For students looking to get into college, they will take other major college admissions tests such as the ACT and the SAT.

Related Resource: Become a Teacher at a Military College

You are in great hands by being enlisted in the military with a family. So if you have any doubts about the education opportunities for your children, do not worry about the Department of Defense Education Activity.