Page images

Implication. School districts in California are staffed in terms of maintaining an existing educational program, and are thus inadequately staffed when the Legislature or society places upon the schools the obligation for major curriculum change.

School districts were asked to identify the basic problems which they faced in terms of the implementation of their NDEA projects and their plans for future change. One of every six districts felt that it lacked sufficient administrative help. Three out of eight districts reported insufficient funds for in-service education or for equipment and materials. One of every four districts reported that its biggest problem was the improvement of the teaching staff; and one of every four reported the need for local consultants to assist the in-service program.

The tenor of the reports received from the school districts indicated that Title III of the NDEA had served as a stimulus for program change and program improvement. However, the reports indicated that this stimulus had come at a time when the school districts lacked resources to provide the necessary in-service education for their teaching staffs, and the supply of competent teachers was insufficient for their needs. Finding. Title III of the National Defense Education Act has strengthened the awareness of school districts of the need for more effective evaluation procedures.

Implication. During a period of program change, the need for adequate tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the changed program by obtaining evidence regarding improvement and learning places further demands on school districts for more adequate administrative staffs. School districts were asked to report the nature of the evidence they had collected and upon which they based their judgment regarding improved learnings on the part of students. Professional opinion was the most frequently used criterion. Only one of every three school districts reported any objective evidence such as test data or enrollment figures to support their findings. Many administrators reported that existing tests were inappropriate for the changed educational programs, that the pressure of time upon existing staff did not permit adequate evaluation, and that they lacked the funds to add staff members.

Reports from most of the school district administrators showed not only a great need for evaluation of their school programs; but also considerable evidence that they were deeply concerned with the effectiveness of instruction. The reports reflected an awareness that such evaluations were not being made, and contained appeals to the California State Department of Education for assistance in evaluating their programs with more effective and appropriate tests, consultant assistance, and financial assistance in maintaining an adequate staff to administer and interpret the data which could be collected.

Finding. Title III of the National Defense Education Act has stimulated the change to a more highly specialized organization of instruction.

Implication. The infusion of energy and money into any area results in a more complex and a more highly specialized organization.

School districts were asked to describe the organizational change which had taken place in their instructional programs. The responses of the elementary school districts indicated that approximately one of every three had fully departmentalized at the seventh and eighth grade level; and that some degree of departmentalization had occurred as low as the fourth grade in one of every 20 school districts. One of every four reported that science was taught as a separate subject; one of every five reported some type of grouping to provide greater individualization of instruction; and one of every five employed additional teachers to provide for increased specialization of instruction.

High school districts reported a similar trend towards increased specialization of assignment. One of every seven high school districts gave department heads released time for administrative duties; one of ten reported restricting the teaching staff to specific areas of science or mathematics; one of three reported changes in their practices of assigning students to classes; and one of 15 reported employing laboratory assistants in science or in foreign language, and granting free time to teachers for program preparation.

Finding. Title III of the NDEA has so far had an overall favorable effect upon other subject areas in the school program.

Implication. Incentive programs for special subject areas are not necessarily damaging to the school program as a whole.

Four favorable comments regarding the effect of the NDEA on other subject areas were made for each unfavorable comment. In order of frequency, the favorable effects of the NDEA included (1) the increased use of general audio-visual equipment and materials; (2) the establishment of a climate of recognition for the extent of improvement possibilities; (3) the development of techniques of program appraisal and program development in other subject areas; and (4) improved cooperation with other school districts, offices of county superintendent of schools, and institutions of higher learning.

The unfavorable effects of the NDEA most referred to were overloading the administrative and supervisory staff; and the feeling that money had been taken from other areas of the curriculum. There were also some references to the creation of staff jealousies as a result of selecting certain subject areas.

In general, however, it was the feeling of the school districts in California that the National Defense Education Act had been a stimu

lus for program improvement in all areas of the school curriculum, and that its favorable effects far outweighed any unfavorable effects.

Finding. School districts have recommended changes in administrative practices for Title III which are currently being put into effect. Implication. Continual feedback from school districts regarding any service program is essential to the improvement of administrative procedures and to adaptation to changed circumstances.

School districts were asked to recommend the changes in administrative practices that would be of assistance to them in the development of programs financed under Title III of the National Defense Education Act. Half of the districts responding requested that the deadline for submission of projects be shifted to the Spring. An almost equal number requested that the Bureau of National Defense Education Act Administration take steps towards revising its manual of instruction.1 One of ten school districts stated that the straight 50-50 matching should be made more flexible so that the poorer school districts might receive the benefits they need.

The California State Department of Education has already responded to the request for the Spring deadline by establishing April 24, 1962, as the deadline for applications for the 1962-63 fiscal year. The manual of instructions for the preparation of projects is currently under revision, and several statewide committee meetings will be held to obtain the reactions of school districts toward the changes proposed. The provision of more flexible matching requirements is under study.


Participation of a school district in Title III programs is related directly to the size of its administrative staff and inversely, to its wealth.

Title III of the National Defense Education Act has been successful in California in helping school districts to accommodate increased student enrollments and improve the quality of instruction in science, mathematics, and modern foreign languages.

Title III has stimulated school administrators in the state to initiate programs of instructional improvement; and the equipment and materials provided under Title III have acted both as motivation and reward to the teachers in the school districts involved. Secondary school district administrators credit the National Science Foundation with being the greatest single factor in program change.

Title III has achieved only limited success in the development of adequate in-service education programs for teachers and the encourage

1 Manual of Information and Instructions Regarding Application for Projects Under Title III of National Defense Education Act of 1958 (Public Law 864): Financial Assistance for Strengthening Science, Mathematics, and Modern Foreign Language Instruction-Grants for Acquisition of Equipment, Materials, and Minor Remodeling. Sacramento: California State Department of Education, 1959 (revised).

ment of effective evaluation programs. School districts report that they have insufficient funds to employ adequate staff for these purposes and are seeking aid either from such programs as are represented by the National Defense Education Act or programs established by the State Legislature.

Title III has stimulated the development of more complex and more highly specialized instructional programs, which include the increased specialization of teachers and greater attention to pupil placement.

Title III has been a favorable influence upon the school program as a whole. The criticisms regarding additional workload on school district staffs are more than counterbalanced by the use of ideas, equipment, and techniques developed in NDEA supported subjects and by the stimulation of improved programs in other subject areas.

The experience of the school districts indicates that even under the most favorable circumstances a minimum of three years is necessary for curriculum change, and that considerably more time is needed if large numbers of teachers are involved.

The total cost of the NDEA Title III program in California, including administrative costs, consultant and supervisory services, and matching funds for equipment and materials, has been approximately 90 cents per pupil per year.

Probably the most valuable result of the study is that it has proven that small amounts of money, when wisely spent as a result of careful planning, can effect a significant impact on the educational program in a school district and in the state.

Senator MORSE. Now, Dr. McMullen, we are delighted to have you.



Dr. MCMULLEN. Good morning, Senator Morse.

First I wish to express to you and members of the subcommittee our appreciation for the invitation to appear before you and submit testimony relating to certain provisions of S. 580.

I am George McMullen, consultant to the associate superintendent of the division of instructional services, Los Angeles city schools. One of my duties is to coordinate work on National Defense Education Act subventions for our school system.

The Los Angeles city schools have participated in programs under Public Law No. 85-864 of the National Defense Education Act since its enactment in 1958. Projects developed and recommended for special consideration of the board of education are submitted only after considerable study. Although the staff believes that each recommendation for improvement of instruction deserves considerationregardless of the availability of National Defense Educational Act funds, we also have a responsibility to inform the board of education whenever this legislation can aid the school district.


The National Defense Education Act has made it possible for the Los Angeles city schools to

(1) Provide schools with certain equipment and materials more quickly than might otherwise be possible.

(2) Furnish greater financial support to instruction in certain subject fields without increasing expenditures of district funds.

(3) Advance the priority of certain items in budget planning by reducing substantially their cost to the district.

(4) Provide funds for experimental programs necessary to determine the need for improvements in the educational program.

Each proposal is given the utmost care in screening and analysis to insure the maximum effectiveness of the program. This is carried out to the extent that for each proposal a 5-year projected cost analysis is made on the impact of the proposal on the on-going budgets. It is not enough for us to know the cost of a project. We must know what related costs are involved in regarding additional supplies, consultant time for the development of materials, and the costs of maintaining the project over an extended period of time. This gives you an indication of the care with which these proposals are handled.

It is easily recognized that the ability to maintain basic programs of education-and indeed to make progress in the face of declining financial support-will require the utmost care in the handling of every dollar appropriated for the general purposes of education.

The Los Angeles system has been involved in the National Defense Education Act program since the beginning and has learned how best to make effective use of each dollar in this program.

The California State plan for project development is, in the eyes of the staff, a most significant vehicle for the development of sound, worthwhile educational programs, when you are dealing with a large number of districts with limited financial resources.

« PreviousContinue »