Explain to students the history of the Hoover Commission and the various reorganizations of the executive branch of the federal government. Tell students that the President of the United States called and asked if the class would be will to become the (teacher’s last name) Commission. The charge of this commission is evaluating the efficiency of the current structure of the executive branch of the federal government.
Assign each student to one of the following subcommittees:
Law Enforcement Subcommittee:
- Department of the Defense
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Labor
- Department of Treasury
- Department of Transportation
Well Being Subcommittee:
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Interior
The following is the charge of each subcommittee:
- Investigate the assigned departments to gain a general understanding of the various tasks of each department.
- Write a one page report on the function of each department to be included in the commission report.
- Select one department that must be eliminated.
- Decide if the various tasks of the department should be eliminated or assigned to a different department. If assigned to another department which one?
- Write a report of the subcommittee’s recommendations for the commission report.
Chronological List of Government Agencies and Dates of Establishment and Eliminations
Milestones Executive Reorganization
Making Democracy Work: A Brief History of Twentieth Century Federal Executive Reorganization
Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Department of Treasury
Aberbach, Joel D and Peterson, Mark A. Institutions of American Democracy: The Executive Branch (Institutions of American Democracy Series). New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
Dirck, Brian. The Executive Branch of Government: People, Process, and Politics (About Federal Government). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007.
Hargrove, Julia. History Speaks: Executive Branch of Government. Carthage:Teaching and Learning Co., 2000.
____________. The Hoover Commission Report on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government. New York: McGraw Hill, 1949.
Kaplan, Ellen M. and Tosella, Joseph. The Peoples Guides to Government – Executive Branch. Saddle Brook: Peoples Publishing Group, 1996.
Kurian, George Thomas, Harahan, Joseph, P., Keller, Morton, and Molitor, Graham T. T. (eds.). A Historical Guide to the U.S. Government. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Ripley. Policy Making in the Executive Branch. New York: Free Press, 1975.
Credits: This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University