As a former employee of the Irvine School District, I have seen students who came to California from low performing states, such as Mississippi. We REALLY need national minimum standards. The Department of Education does not need to control every aspect of education, but it should set some minimum standards for teachers, districts and students. It is bad enough that our country ranks far below other countries in math and science. Doing away with the Department of Education would only result in educational levels dropping further in some parts of the country. It's a ridiculous idea!