The U.S. Department of Education provides links to external websites sponsored by education groups for informational purposes only as a public service. These links are offered to help visitors explore the range of options available and make informed choices about education resources and opportunities.
Consideration for linking will be extended to organizations supporting the mission of the Department, which is to "promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access." Individual offices within ED may link to organizations that support their specific missions. Site sponsors must have a demonstrated track record of providing reliable public information about education resources that helps students, families, educators, policy makers, and the public, and can include:
- organizations funded by ED and other federal agencies;
- national and state education agencies and associations;
- elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education institutions;
- for-profit or nonprofit groups that provide authoritative education-related information and services to consumers;
- corporations that have a business relationship with the Department in delivering services, products, or funds to students, families, and educators; and
- groups that support the mission of ED or the responsible ED office through an ongoing partnership or voluntary carrying out of ED activities.
Links to websites of organizations outside ED will be provided only if the information is judged to be clearly central, essential, and indispensable to the implementation of the mission of ED and the responsible ED office. Evaluation criteria will focus on:
- how well the site complements existing information, products, and services at ED.gov;
- relevance and usefulness of content;
- accuracy and timeliness of information; and
- overall quality and authoritative value of the web site.
ED will not link to sites that exhibit hate, bias, or discrimination. ED reserves the right to deny or remove links if it is determined that a group's website is primarily commercial in nature (i.e., advertising a product, charging a usage fee, soliciting user information, etc.), if there is any indication of misleading or unsubstantiated claims, or if it is judged by ED to be in conflict with ED's mission.
Other Government Internet Resources for Education and Libraries -- Encompasses websites on education efforts sponsored by other Federal agencies. This includes only education-related information, programs, activities, services, funding availability, and links to education-related cross-agency databases, document collections, and virtual libraries.
State Agencies and Resources -- Limited to the primary state-sponsored websites that provide education information and resources. Focuses on information provided to the general public and special populations about available educational assistance and services and what steps to take to obtain these resources; as well as guidance and resources for professionals in the field on how to administer these state-sponsored programs.
Educational Institutions and Education Support Institutions -- Consists only of links to directories of K-12 schools and school districts, colleges and universities, community colleges, and vocational, technical, and trade schools. The purpose of these online directories is largely to inform students and parents of academic and institutional services, and help educators explore ways to use Internet resources for enriching the school curriculum.
Libraries -- Links to collections of Internet-accessible library catalogs, services, and centers across the United States, as well as specific library-related projects in which ED is involved as a sponsor or partner. Includes tips on how to make the most of library resources, and user-friendly guides and search programs to help visitors find the information they are looking for quickly and easily.
National Educational Associations and Organizations -- Restricted to leading educational authorities that are organized to advance the cause of public and private education. Information provided on these sites may include: discussion of education-related issues, initiatives, activities, publications, archives, conference information, professional development, and other resources. (ED does not link directly to local and state associations or organizations, although national websites to which ED links may in turn link to their local and state chapters.)