« PreviousContinue »
Senator PELL. This concludes the hearing for today. We will meet again tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. We now stand adjourned.
[Thereupon at 12:05 p.m. the hearing was adjourned.]
EDUCATION LEGISLATION, 1973
Categorical Education Programs
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1973
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, in room 4232, Dirksen Office Building at 10:10 a.m., Senator Claiborne Pell, chairman of the subcommittee presiding.
Present: Senators Pell, Beall, and Stafford.
Senator PELL. The hearing will come to order. Today's hearing is a continuation of the subcommittee's investigation of the existing categorical programs of Federal assistance to education, and, of course, the various pieces of legislation which have been introduced during this session of Congress pertaining to elementary and secondary education.
Today we will be hearing from individuals who have experience with specific programs, and their perspectives will be most valuable to the committee.
As per our normal procedures, we would hope that the written statements be presented for the record and that they be summarized by the witnesses, which would leave us time for questions.
The first witness today is Dr. Arthur Ballantine, Chairman, National Advisory Council on Supplementary Centers and Services.
Senator Dominick, who would like to have been here very much to introduce you and hear your statement, has sent his regrets because he cannot be with us today.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR BALLANTINE, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON SUPPLEMENTARY CENTERS AND SERVICES
Mr. BALLANTINE. Thank you very much, Senator.
With your permission, År. Chairman, I would like to request that my full statement appear in the record.
Senator PELL. Without objection, it will appear as said in full at the conclusion of your testimony.
Mr. BALLANTINE. Then I would like to summarize or read a few paragraphs from it.
We believe title III to be a well-written and effective piece of legislation which accomplishes what Congress intended it to do. We are convinced that Federal encouragement of innovation in education has been invaluable during the past 10 years and is indispensable for the future. For these reasons, we support the extension of title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as provided in S. 1539.
We think there are several reasons for continuing title III.
Every title III project must be innovative; that is, it must take an approach which is new in its locality. A project may be unique, or it may be a creative adaptation or expansion of proven ideas, and all are expected to take account of the research findings in their fields.
Funds appropriated for title III go directly into projects where they affect the daily learning and teaching experiences of children and teachers. This is educational development through the application of research, and for most school districts, the money available from title III is the only money from any source for this purpose.
In performing its leadership role, title III is aided by several characteristics of the legislation. One is its flexibility. Title III funds can be used in any area of the elementary and secondary curriculum, and they are not targeted to any one specific student or teacher population. Title III has therefore been able to respond across-the-board to new educational needs as they have arisen during the past 10 years.
There is hardly an area of Federal concern for education, as expressed in recent or proposed legislation, in which you will not find title III pilot projects already operating: This is true in such fields as career education, environmental education, programs for the gifted and talented, education of the handicapped, preschool education, ethnic studies, reading, and bilingual education.
If these resources of active, ongoing experience were effectively utilized, they could serve as a reservoir of tested expertise for other Federal education programs.
Another feature of the title III legislation, and one about which I have some personal knowledge, is the requirement that each_State appoint an advisory council as a prerequisite to receiving funds. I have had the honor of serving on the Colorado State Advisory Council, and I am well aware of the value of this citizen participation in education decisionmaking.
The State councils review the application proposals which are received by the State education agency from local schools for title III funds, they oversee the projects during their operation, and they pass on continuation proposals. In all these activities, the State council represents the view of the community as to the value and contribution of the title III project. I consider the contribution made by State advisory councils to be one of the most significant parts of title III, and I urge that this concept be protected in any future legislation.
Through the requirement that projects respond to identified learner needs and that they subject themselves to continuing evaluation, title III is in the forefront of the new educational interest in accountability. Title III is therefore in a leadership position in the management and administration of education, as well as in teaching.
In another—and one of the most difficult-areas of educational practice, title III is also in a position to exercise leadership and to develop solutions. This is the area of dissemination, of getting good ideas from one place or one teacher to another.
As a step in this direction, the title III community during 1973 cooperatively engaged in an identification/validation dissemination process by which a team of validation experts from one State visited and evaluated selected title III projects from a neighboring State. The evaluations were conducted on the basis of guidelines prepared by the Office of Education in cooperation with State and local title III personnel. One hundred and seven projects were finally chosen by this means as meeting criteria of innovativeness, exportability, cost-effectiveness, and significant pupil achievement or improvement. These projects will constitute a valuable resource of information for school systems throughout the country.
A list of the 107 identified projects is appended to this testimony. They are found in 42 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and they cover such areas as early childhood, special education, environmental education, teacher/staff training, reading, individualized instruction, and curriculum.
As a contribution to this effort, and in pursuance of its mandate to disseminate information concerning title III, the National Advisory Council is currently preparing two publications which will briefly describe each of these projects.
The progression to dissemination as a priority in title III is a natural one; the program has now reached a point of maturity at which it has many valuable materials to share with educators. The National Advisory Council supports a provision in House bill H.R. 69 which authorizes a nationwide directory of title III projects to be published annually by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
We also suggest that comprehensive dissemination activities be made a regular part of Office of Education operation, through provision of specific funds for that purpose.
Senate bill S. 1539 deletes section 306, the Commissioner's discretionary part of title III, from the legislation, and gives the States full control of title III funds.
We support the idea of discretionary funds for the U.S. Commissioner of Education provided that the legislation include safeguards requiring: (1) Consultation with local educational agencies in the determination of national priorities, (2) open competition among school systems for State allotted funds, and (3) annual reports from the U.S. Office of Education concerning the use of discretionary funds and their impact on innovation.
I think that is adequate, I hope, to give you an idea of our position.
Senator PELL. We in the Congress have to strike a balance between the various proposals that have been presented. We look at the programs that are in being, measure and examine the inequities that may exist, the successes and failures, and then see what we can do to continuously improve the quality and dimensions of education for our Nation's youngsters. We have to make some pretty tough choices.
Pending before us is the administration's proposal which would pretty well scrap many of the categorical programs including the ones about which you have been talking here, and umbrella them under revenue sharing. This leaving to the local authorities the authority to dispose of the money as they say within broad policy guidelines.
The other approach would be to keep present law in existence as is and concrete without recognizing the difficulties, complexities, inequities which have crept into it. We have tried to come somewhere in the middle here. Which way do you lean? Do you think we should follow the administration's approach of umbrellaing, shelding title III and all the other titles into broad revenue sharing, or do you
think we should keep the basic thrust now with categorical programs set by the Congress ?
Mr. BALLANTINE. I think you want to encourage as much local participation in the educational process as you can. But I think there are a number of areas in which the Federal Government has to take the leadership, that there are some areas in which the States and local school districts are not going to help and that there are several such activities in the ESEA. I think, for instance, you can say not only title III, but what title V has done in improving the quality of State education to departments has been a very great real benefit. I really also think that when you come down to the problem of school libraries, it is rather shocking the lack of attention that schools have paid to their libraries. But a great deal has been accomplished by ESEA.
Senator PELL. Basically you would lean a little more toward keeping some of the broad categorical programs that we have now with the Federal Government directing funds in those directions?
Mr. BALLANTINE. Well I would study each one carefully. I am certain, because the area that I know best is title III, because that is what as a layman I have been working in, but I suspect that there are quite a few programs that have been instituted that have possibly served their purpose.
Senator PELL. To be very specific in your case with your interest in title III, would you support the administration's proposals to liquidate title III and put it into general revenue sharing?
Mr. BALLANTINE. No. In our advisory capacity to both you and to the administration, we believe that this would be a mistake because we are afraid that if you do not tell the States that there should be innovation that even though many of the States have good intentions, the pressures are so great for other needs like teachers salaries and new schools, a lot of the nuts and bolts of education, that these funds would not be used for innovation.
Senator PELL. I thank you very much. Senator Stafford. Senator STAFFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was detained by another engagement. I did not have an opportunity to hear Mr. Ballantine, but I will read his statement. I will waive any questions.
Senator PELL. Thank you very much, Mr. Ballantine, indeed for being with us.
Your testimony, as I said, will be placed in the record in full and studied by the committee.
Mr. BALLANTINE. Thank you very much, Senator Pell.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ballantine and the annual report of ESEÅ title II follows:]