Students are at the heart of all we do
Shortly after the end of World War II, the United States military established schools for the children of its service men and women stationed in Europe and the Pacific. Schools for children of military members stationed at various bases in the United States were already well-established. First administered by the military branches they served, the growing number of schools was soon transferred to civilian managers, then organized into two separate but parallel systems: the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (Pacific and Europe) overseas, and the Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (Americas) in the United States. In 1994 the two systems were brought together under an umbrella agency, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).
DoDEA, as one of only two Federally-operated school systems, is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating, and managing prekindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD). DoDEA is globally positioned, operating 160 accredited schools in 8 districts located in 11 foreign countries, 7 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
DoDEA employs approximately 15,000 employees who serve more than 69,688 children of active duty military and DoD civilian families. DoDEA is committed to ensuring that all school-aged children of military families are provided a world-class education that prepares them for postsecondary education and/or career success and to be leading contributors in their communities as well as in our 21st century globalized society.
DoDEA operates as a field activity of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness). It is headed by a director who oversees all agency functions from DoDEA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. DoDEA's schools are divided into 3 geographic areas: Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas.
- Student Centered: Students are at the heart of all we do.
- Excellence: We strive to exceed expectations in all we do.
- Continuous Improvement: Our organization, its systems, and processes will be continually reexamined and improved.
- Diversity: We honor the uniqueness of each individual and embrace diverse beliefs and backgrounds. We respect differences and create inclusive environments which contribute to a better society for all.
- Individual Potential: Individuals develop within an environment that nurtures intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and creative growth.
- Lifelong Learning: Learning is an active process of discovery where we cultivate curiosity, perseverance, and the desire to learn.
- Shared Responsibility: Partnerships among families, students, staff, and community members are characterized by mutual commitment and collaborative effort that enrich the lives of our students.
- Trust: We value relationships based on integrity, mutual respect, and open two-way communication. We cultivate a safe and risk-free culture that encourages and inspires innovation.
The DoDEA instructional program provides a comprehensive pre-kindergarten through 12th grade College and Career Ready Curriculum that is dedicated to attaining high student achievement. DoDEA measures student progress with multiple criterion referenced assessments aligned to the curriculum. Our students consistently achieve high scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which provides comparisons of student success in literacy and math, and above the national average on standardized assessments.
All DoDEA school districts are accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), which provides each district with an independent evaluation. Districts submit annual reports of data and every five years, they host an on-site validation visit led by education experts from the United States. Following the on-site visit, Cognia sends a report that includes observations and recommendations. DoDEA also conducts internal monitoring of educational programs to ensure high-quality implementation of new programs and overall effectiveness of existing programs. Monitoring activities may include, but are not limited to the following activities: surveys, interviews, focus groups, classroom observations and the analysis of achievement and training data. Currently, 100% of DoDEA districts are accredited and in good standing.