On May 4, 1980, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) opened its doors. It was a highly contentious creation—the bill establishing it barely passed the House, and President Reagan vowed to kill it—but the DOE remains. Of course, survival does not necessarily mean success. In this special three‐episode webinar marking the DOE’s 40th birthday, we’ll examine its past, present, and future. Why was the DOE, for which there is no clear constitutional warrant, established? What has it accomplished—or maybe damaged—in its four decades? What should be done with it moving forward, including, perhaps, bringing it to an end? We will discuss all of this and more as the DOE heads toward its fifth decade.