« PreviousContinue »
This leaves us no alternative to an all-out educational mobilization. Our situation is not fundamentally different from that of the Romans when they discovered that the Visigoths had armed themselves with swords, shields, and spears, and were about to sack the empire.
Weapons are often different in form but never in purpose. Whole civilizations have died before when they underestimated the elemental forces and momentum that can arise overnight in some hinterland.
I am not one to minimize the difficulties ahead. A backward look over more than 40 years in the aircraft industry enforces the conviction that while the future may hold many “improbables," there will be very few “impossibles."
The scientist of today must know—and be able to practice technologies literally unknown a very few years ago. We speak a language new to mankind. Selected at random, consider: spage age; nose cone; countdown; launching complex; thermonuclear; fallout; mushroom cloud; weapon system; lunar probe. Here we have the terminology of today, words and expressions which did not even exist 20 years ago.
Whether the bulk of our people will be skeptical or optimistic as we continue the exploration of space, I cannot say. There is a tendency to shrug off the efforts of our men and women of science with a “So what?" I am confident that such an unrealistic attitude will in no degree discourage the men and women of science who are engaged in learning the cosmic alphabet, the syntax of space, the grammar of the spheres.
Since the day of Daedalus and Icarus, man has been drawn toward the stars. Historically, the failure of Icarus is perhaps better remembered than the success of his father. To me, they should be held in equal esteem, for I honor the courage of the experimenters over the failure of the experiment. May their courage never wane.
Mr. Douglas, chairman of the board of the Douglas Aircraft Co., Inc., Santa Monica, Calif., delivered these remarks at the 1958 Medal Day meeting of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa., in acceptance of the Franklin Medal. The Franklin Institute, named for Benjamin Franklin, was founded in 1826 to further the study and promotion of mechanical arts and applied science. The oldest organization of its kind in the country, it annually presents awards for distinguished scientific achievement. In past years the Franklin Medal has gone to such men as Edison, Orville Wright, Marconi, and Albert Einstein. Mr. Douglas' remarks were originally published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute for December 1958 and are digested here with special permission.
SOUTH DAKOTA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION,
Pierre, 8. Dak., March 9, 1959. Hon. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on General Education, House Education and Labor Committee, Washington, D.C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY : Enclosed is a copy of the resolution passed by the delegate assembly of the South Dakota Education Association at its annual meeting on November 23, 1957. We wish to submit it as the position of the South Dakota Education Association on Federal aid at that time.
No action was taken at the delegate assembly held on November 5 and 7, 1958, due to the resolution passed the previous year. Sincerely yours,
ROBERT E. HALD, Executive Secretary.
The following resolution was passed at the delegate assembly of the South Dakota Education Association held at Pierre, S. Dak., on November 23, 1957:
"Federal Aid to Education. Heavy local taxation and limited State aid, South Dakota's traditional methods of paying the cost of education in our public schools, have not been adequate in providing equal educational opportunity for all of the children of our State.
"Until we can obtain substantial increases in State aid and in improved local taxation structure, be it
“Resolved, That the association support Federal aid to public schools without Federal control.”
According to the Rankings of the States, published in December 1957 by the research division of the National Education Association, South Dakota ranked 45th of the States in the estimated average salary of classroom teachers in public schools for 1957–58. As a result, it is important that funds for teachers' salaries be included in any form of Federal support to public schools as well as funds for school construction.
The provisions of the Murray-Metcalf bill, S. 2 and H.R. 22, best fit the needs of our State.
ROBERT E. HALD, Executive Secretary.
NATIONAL CHILD LABOR COMMITTEE
New York, N.Y., March 11, 1959. Hon. CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Education, House Committee on Education and Labor, Washington, D.C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY: The National Child Labor Committee has long recognized that States and local communities need assistance in providing ade quate education for all our children. In the light of critical needs for such help now, we strongly endorse the Murray-Metcalf education bill (H.R. 22, S. 2).
NCLC is particularly interested in this bill because it will strengthen educational opportunities for the children of migratory farmworkers. These children there are probably as many as 100,000 of them of school age are the most deprived educationally of any of our children, according to the U.S. Office of Education. One of the main reasons for this is the widespread lack of funds to provide schooling for them in local school districts where they live, both in their "home base" States and in States "up the road."
The Murray-Metcalf bill will relieve this lack of funds and will help us stop short-changing these youth at a time when our Nation can ill-afford manpower waste.
I would like you to include a copy of this letter in the record of hearings being conducted by your subcommittee. Respectfully,
ELI E. COHEN, Executive Secretary.
THE CARVER FEDERATION OF TEACHERS,
Ferndale, Mich., March 10, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. BAILEY: A.F.T. Local 964 affiliate of AFT-CIO wishes to urge you to vote for the Murray-Metcalf Federal aid bill and to use all your influence to enlist additional support for this bill. Our school district is urgently in need of the Federal aid for teachers' salaries that this bill provides.
This school district is especially disadvantaged in that the income from local taxes is very small. The school is located in a community that is in the process of changeover from one of the temporary Government-built homes for wartime employees to one of more permanent homes. There are few business enterprises in this area. Therefore, the district is heavily dependent on State aid for support of the school. As everyone knows Michigan is in dire financial distress and finds it difficult to make the State aid payments. Fraternally,
BERNICE A. BUCHANAN, President.
HARTFORD FEDERATION OF TEACHERS,
LOCAL 1018, AFL-CIO,
Hartford, Conn., March 9, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND BAILEY, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY: The Murray-Metcalf Federal aid bill is needed if Hartford, Conn., and other cities and towns are to be able to maintain really democratic American standard of living schools. Too large a proportion of the taxes are levied against real estate.
Puerto Rican laborers have flocked to this area and they must be maintained on welfare; they are Americans. This does, however, make the welfare problem acute even for Hartford. This bill would help alleviate that problem. Sincerely yours,
GORDON S. HILL, President.
THE IDAHO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS
Pocatello, Idaho, March 8, 1959,
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BAILEY: Idaho is straining to provide education, but in 23 districts of the State we are laboring under recognized hardship. For example, in Pocatello, second city, we have at present an urgent need for a new high school. No money. Failing that, we need eight more rooms at the pres“ent high school to do as well as we are doing now in our overcrowded structure. ' After that we will need more. No money.
We have at present eight buildings in the system with holes in their roofs and no money for repairs, two are recognized firetraps. Remember Chicago? There are eight rooms with no blackboards, only crumbling black painted plaster.
The high school library is so deficient in books that it would take $25,000 to put at a minimum standard for the Northwest, and even it is used for å study hall. This imperils our accreditation. In no grade or junior high do we have even a token library. Rooms built for this use have long since been turned into classrooms, yet libraries are the center of modern schooling.
Pocatello will need a new grade school each year for the next 5 years to just stay even with what we are doing now. Our mill level for schools is at the legal maximum, 32 mills. Our bonding capacity is at its limit, we can do no more.
A week ago I visited the State legislature and found there a mood of near desperation. Ours is a colonial economy. Moneys made by major industries here is reported for tax purposes elsewhere. I am no Idaho native, having been here but 4 years, but I truly think that Idaho is making more effort to meet its problems than some other States. Our income tax is either the highest or second highest in the Nation. But we run so hard to just stay in place while equipment wears out as do overloaded teachers. Other Western States all pay more for less work. It's a wonder we have any teachers.
As to housing. In Pocatello we certainly need a decent place for teachers to live at a fair rent. Also, we are deficient in housing for other underprivileged minority groups. Sincerely yours,
GLADYS R. MESSEX, State IFT President.
NEWARK, N.J., March 11, 1959. Representative CLEVELAND M. BAILEY, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIR: Murray-Metcalf Federal aid bill is the most forthright approach to the problem of decent standards of education for the children of the United States and the bill should be released for immediate legislative action.
Newark's teachers have been struggling against the oppressive burden of inadequate salaries, oversized classes, split sessions, and an obsolescent and inade
quate school plant. Education needs a favorable climate to flourish and flower. Present conditions in Newark are destructive to the fulfillment of the goals set for our great democratic society.
Newark has over 500 substitute teachers out of a staff of 2,700. Some schools are operating on 4-hour schedules twice daily. Classes of 45 and over are commonplace. The buildings are being closed because of firetrap conditions and large sums of money are being spent to alleviate hazardous conditions in school buildings 80 years old. Low salaries and oversized classes are resulting in an inadequate supply of highly qualified teachers to apply for the opportunity of teaching Newark's 70,000 children. This is Newark's story. Only generous Federal aid can help us solve the problem of supplying decent educational conditions for Newark's young people.
The Newark Teachers Union, local 481, American Federation of Teachers' AFL-CIO, strongly urges your favorable action on the Murray-Metcalf bill before further irreparable damage to the youth of America destroys the last hope of democracy. Yours truly,
VINCENT J. YOUNG, President, Local 481. Mr. BAILEY. On the list of witnesses this morning I note our first witness is the Honorable Harley O. Staggers, my colleague from the State of West Virginia. He was forced to attend a meeting of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce and is not available.
I would like to ask permission to include in the record at this point a statement from Congressman Staggers. (The statement referred to follows:)
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., March 13, 1959. To: The Honorable Cleveland M. Bailey, Chairman, General Education Sub
committee, House Committee on Education and Labor. From: Representative Harley 0. Staggers, Second District, West Virginia. Subject: Urgency for action on legislation authorizing programs for Federal
assistance to States for education.
I am sure all of us will acknowledge the fact that education in the United States is an essential part of our national defense and, as such, becomes a joint responsibility of the local, State, and National Government.
For many years the question of Federal aid to education has been discussed by the Members of Congress, by educators, and by interested lay citizens. There have been many differences of opinion as to the part taken by the various interested groups, but despite this, there are the following basic agreements:
First of all, the youth of each State and each local community should be provided an opportunity to attend a school of acceptable quality.
Secondly, we must agree that the opportunity to attend a good school is still being denied many thousands of children in many of the States in our Nation.
Thirdly, we must provide for the employment of a qualified staff to determine the relative ability of each State to support a school program of an acceptable standard.
With the launching of the Russian sputnik it became apparent to the discerning people of our country that our relative position among the nations of the earth was not what we had been led to believe with regard to education and technological skill.
While we were debating whether or not we would choose to use our full resources to give our people the quality of education they need, Russia recognized that the position of any nation in today's world will be determined by the quality of the education of its people and gave first priority to the improvement of its schools. Physical facilities and equipment were improved. A program of studies designed to meet their purpose with standards of pupil achievement was established. The position of the teachers was elevated to that held by other important professions. Their recent achievements in space exploration and in other scientific exploration and in other scientific endeavors are strong evidence that progress comes through education.
I feel we can no longer persist in debating how we can provide good schools for all our people we must take action-and now.
We must enact legislation which will provide funds for much needed good schools and improving our present inadequate facilities.
We must awaken to the truth and urge and support appropriations for better schools and better paid teachers.
Needless to say, our only hope and salvation is an enlightened people. With the will and means to grow and improve, our educational system in this country will cease to be second rate. We want to be as good as any—and we should be the best.
Let us take action--and now—to pass legislation which will authorize programs for Federal assistance to the States for education. We cannot afford to put this off any longer.
Mr. THOMPSON. Will the Chair entertain a unanimous consent request !
Mr. BAILEY. Yes.
Mr. THOMPSON. That a statement by Dr. Frederick Hipp, of the New Jersey Education Association, be printed in the record.
Mr. BAILEY. Without objection, the request of the gentleman from New Jersey will be accepted and the material offered will be included in the record.
(The statement referred to follows:)
STATEMENT BY THE NEW JERSEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ON THE MURRAY-METCALF
FEDERAL SCHOOL SUPPORT BILLS
The New Jersey Education Association, representing over 43,000 teachers and retired teachers in the public schools of New Jersey, urges enactment of the Murray-Metcalf bills (S. 2 and H.R. 22). Our request is based on the following arguments:
1. That even a relatively able State such as New Jersey has serious school problems;
2. That some of New Jersey's expenditure figures are deceptive in the light of New Jersey's location and overall economy ;
3. That New Jersey needs Federal support such as the Murray-Metcalf measures would provide ; and
4. That Federal support for education should be used to aid States with forward-looking educational programs. New Jersey is a relatively able State, and a State with school expenditures well above the national averages. While there can always be arguments about exact figures and rankings, our State traditionally is fourth or fifth among the States in personal income per capita; and third or fourth in its school expenditures per pupil. These facts do not mean, however, that it does not need school support from the Federal Government or that it has any lack of conditions which justify such aid.
Last year New Jersey schools employed 5,223 teachers (about one in every eight) with emergency or provisional teaching certificates. These teachers did not meet New Jersey's high but reasonable standards of full teacher certification. They taught over 190,000 pupils. The number of such teachers is rising every year, despite our best efforts.
School building has not kept pace with rising enrollments, even though the elementary and secondary school bonds sold in 1958 amounted to $116,500,000, a total exceeded only by California, New York, and Michigan. In 1954 New Jersey schools had only 25,000 pupils on half session; by 1957-58 there were twice as many. In 1953, 23,000 pupils were being taught in substandard classrooms (basements, temporary buildings, firehouses, etc.). By 1958–59 this number had risen. to 40,000. Despite our best efforts we are losing ground in our efforts to maintain the quality of our education.
We would point out, too, that some of New Jersey's school expenditures are geographical, rather than educational in nature. Our whole State lies in that vast metropolitan complex which is spreading so rapidly from Boston to Washington, and spreading fastest between New York City and Philadelphia. We have a high density of population, a condition which makes for more services at public expense. The costs of such services are high because all costs in our area are high. Take teachers' salaries for an example. The average salary of a New Jersey teacher is 16 percent above the national average. But the aver