U.S. Department of Education Plain Writing Initiative

U.S. Department of Education Plain Writing Initiative

More Resources
U.S. Department of Education Plain Writing Act of 2010 Compliance Reports
  • 2014 [MS Word, 23KB]
  • 2013 [MS Word, 19KB]
  • 2012 [MS Word, 45KB]

The Plain Writing Act of 2010 [PDF, 153KB] requires federal agencies to write "clear Government communication that the public can understand and use." President Obama also emphasized the importance of establishing "a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration" in his Jan. 21, 2009, Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.

We at the U.S. Department of Education are committed to writing documents in plain language using the Federal Plain Language Guidelines.

Cynthia Dorfman, Director of Operations in the Office of Communications and Outreach, is the Plain Language Officer for the Department. Jacquelyn Zimmermann, Director of Editorial Policy, Print and Art Services, and Jill James, Director of the Web Team, both in the Department's Office of Communications and Outreach, have oversight responsibility for our plain language efforts. You may comment or communicate with the Department of Education about the clarity of our products by sending an email to plainwriting@ed.gov.

We're training our employees and strengthening our oversight process to ensure that you—the reader—will benefit from our products and services. To this end, we intend to use plain language in any document that:

  • is necessary for obtaining any federal government benefit or service;
  • provides information about any federal government benefit or service; or
  • explains to the public how to comply with a requirement that the federal government administers or enforces.

Publishing clear, useful information about our programs and services is one of our top priorities and an ongoing effort. As a user of our website, you may already be familiar with some of our publications and know that they cover a broad array of topics. Are you looking for information about federal student aid? Notices inviting grant applications? Research-based tips to help your children learn? You can find this and more at www.ed.gov and at http://www.edpubs.gov as well as at http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.

As mentioned above, we invite your help in ensuring our information is clear and accessible to you, our customers. Please let us know at plainwriting@ed.gov if you find any of our documents or Web pages hard to understand. Be sure to give the title of the publication or URL if you're referring to a particular publication or Web page. Thank you for your help in making us better at serving you.

You'll find on this Web page "U.S. Department of Education Plain Writing Act of 2010 Compliance Report, 2014 [MS Word, 23KB], 2013 [MS Word, 19KB], and July 2012 [MS Word, 45KB]."

Archived content.