The United States Department of Education, a branch of the government, establishes policy for education, collects data on schools, and enforces federal privacy and civil rights educational laws. However, the individual states and local school districts, not the federal government, are responsible for creating specific curricula and educational standards.
While there is no national curriculum, states have accountability plans for education that they are either required or recommended to follow to ensure quality education for all students. Federal law also requires each state to develop and improve educational standards in order to receive federal assistance.
A group of governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states and the District of Columbia developed the Common Core State Standards in 2009 to change the lack of standardization for student proficiency among the states. As of 2015, 43 of the states, the District of Columbia, four United States territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity have begun to practice the Common Core standards.