« PreviousContinue »
Mr. HITCHENS. Most of the States do not really have much of a statewide program. It is a very local hit or miss proposition, Senator Pell.
Senator PELL. In other words, you do not believe that if Congress turned categorical programs into broad categories as recommended in the administtration's act, that the States would continue the audiovisual programs we have today?
Mr. HITCHENS. I really do not think they will. At least the evidence I have does not indicate that they would.
Senator PELL. So in essence then, if you had to make a hard choice between a static continuation of the present ESEA, with all its builtin problems and faults or adopt the administration's approach with the revenue sharing, umbrellaing of any of these programs, which would you take of these two?
Mr. HITCHENS. I would prefer the existing programs. I certainly advocate improving the ESEA titles as they exist.
Senator PELL. I think we all believe there should be considerably more consolidation than we have so far been able to achieve. One of the problems we face is that individual Senators and Congressman and members of the committee all have not fewer categorical programs, but new favorite categorical programs that they are proposing. We have to figure out how to have more consolidation and at the same time achieve the desires of our colleagues who have worthy categorical new proposals of their own.
Mr. HITCHENS. Senator, may I respond to that. In my view, and I think fairly in the view of my constituents, we are seeking the help of the Federal Legislature to help us to continue an existing education system and to try to create some change. It is looked in a labor intensive mode, where money, we fear, if it is given in large blocs to the State authorities, will inevitably wind up in the salary and welfare bucket and we just feel that in this age of a burgeoning technology, the society cannot afford that. We feel that we need this continued help to try to change it.
Senator PELL. Thank you very much. Senator Stafford.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If I understand your testimony, Mr. Hitchens, in the event we went to special revenue sharing, for education, in place of ESEA program, that you would fear politics might enter into the decisions at the State level and even at the local level to a greater extent than under the present categorical program?
Mr. HITCHENS. That is correct.
Senator STAFFORD. And that there might be a loss of identity of some of the categorical programs, those which you are interested in might be one of the principal set of factors to suffer, is that also true ?
Mr. HITCHENS. That is correct.
Senator STAFFORD. So I understand you would prefer extensions of the ESEA with improvements over the administration's proposal for special revenue sharing for education?
Mr. HITCHENS. Yes, sir.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you.
Senator BEALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have no questions at this time.
Senator PELL. Thank you very much indeed, Dr. Hitchens, for being with us. The subcommittee will have an executive meeting tomorrow at 10 o'clock in this room and open hearing again on the administration's proposals and the other proposals that are before us on Friday.
The hope of the subcommittee is that we will wind up our hearings on this general subject prior to the early part of October and that we can then go ahead with marking up some kind of a bill that will meet the requirements of our Nation's children and have efficiency and provide an area of compromise between the administration's proposals and what is already in being.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Hitchens follows:]
Testimony presented by
Dr. Howard B. Hitchens
United States Senate
Claiborne Pell, Chairman
H.R. 69, A Bill to extend and amend
The Association for Educational Communications and Technology
1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Wednesday, September 12, 1973
This testimony is being presented on behalf of the eight thousand
members of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology
(AECT). It is the professional association of educational technologists
whose aim it is to improve the educational environment available to
learners at all levels through the application of communications media
and techniques to instruction.
While the Association is not the direct recipient of ESEA funds,
it maintains a nation-wide network of contacts with educators in the
On the basis of numerous reports
formal and informal - and
articles submitted to its journals, AECT is in a position to synthesize
the benefits and drawbacks of various forms of federal assistance to
This is a somewhat unique perspective which deserves the
attention of the Subcommittee.
Without hesitation, the Association acknowledges that the
tremendous impact which educational technology has had on American
education would have been greatly diminished had ESEA not existed
educators to close the gap between the information levels inside and
outside the classroom.
The use of technology has provided for more
systematic instruction, based on communications theory.
But while some
school districts have made widespread application of the new technology,
more than eighty per cent (80%) have not been able to meet the basic.
standards for equipment and materials.
This testimony will focus on our experience with those ESEA
programs that have promoted the effective use of educational technology.
And, while criticisms will be raised and modifications of ESEA suggested,
the Association endorses the programs and recommends their renewal.
To be effective, an educational program (whether a federal aid
package or a two week curriculum unit) should provide for all the
component materials needed for its implementation.
When an instructor
or a district media specialist has to track down and organize piecemeal
resources from a variety of funding sources, valuable time is lost and
In some cases, the lesson or program
may never be developed.
It is our understanding that the intent of
ESEA Title I (Assistance...for the Education of Children from Low-Income
Families...) was to provide funds for the development and implementation
of programs to meet the special needs of educationally deprived
pre-school and school
Funds were thus made available
for a range of activities including the construction of facilities, the
acquisition of equipment, program development and evaluation, and
dissemination of the results of rosearch and demonstration projects.
Congress seemed to be aware that both hardware and software items were
needed to boost the educational progress of that group of children.
It is indeed unfortunate that the administration of Title I
programs in the various states has not always been consistent with
the intent of Congress.
There seems to be some confusion as to whether
or not equipment and materials can, in fact, be purchased with Title I
funds unless they are wholly and specifically related to the stated
objectives of a particular local education agency's Title I program.
This kind of provision makes it unnecessarily difficult to acquire
basic audio-visual equipment
the primary need of many ghetto-area'
schools in order to update their overall educational program.