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John W. Gardner said it real well: "If we believe in individual dignity and responsibility, then we must do the necessary, sometimes expensive, often complicated things that will make it possible for each person to have a decent job if he wants one."
I honestly don't know how much additional money it will take to finance the total education program. I don't know. I hope you don't ask me that question. I just know the need is there. I see it every day. I talk to the teachers; I talk to the parents; I talk to the kids. I know how they feel as they walk away from being unable to get in that place where they can learn how to make a living.
I think I know where a lot of those kids are going and I would rather not talk about that.
In closing, may I repeat my previous statement of early and continued feeling of awe and respect that I have for you and your fellow legislators. I have only a real faint idea of the demands that are made on you folks from time to time. I know it is tremendous.
As I have talked to my Congressman Bill Natcher through the years, he has done a good job of convincing me that the requests I make of him are not the only ones on which he has to make decisions.
Our purpose today, as the kids back home say, is to try to tell it like it is and have the faith and the hope that you folks in your deliberations will remember those 10 little words in that slogan that sat on my desk for so long:
"For every child, all that he is capable of becoming."
I would hope that that would be the collective philosophy for all of us and for all of you folks in Kentucky.
We are grateful for what you have done already. We believe that you believe in our cause. I know you do. As far as I am concerned, I feel that you are going to make the effort to do all you can with what you have to do with and really no man can ask more than that. In summation, may I say these few words?
If you forget everything else I have said, and you probably will, I sincerely hope that you will remember this: You have put together in the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 a tremendously effective vehicle within the framework of which we as advisory councils throughout the country can work in getting the pulse of the people of the country, the people who are going to send their kids to these schools.
We think we can work in getting the pulse of them, working with the Department of Education, with the expertise of the Bureau of Vocational Education in our States. We believe that we can help to refine and improve the total program within the framework of the legislation that you already have, in an advisory capacity, I would like to stress, not administratively. We don't want to run the ship. The basic structure of the present legislation does not, in our opinion, need to be altered.
What we need, what we really need, what we desperately need, gentlemen, is more room at the inn.
Chairman PERKINS. Thank you very much, Mr. Stone.
I notice you are accompanied by other members of the advisory councils from other States.
We will hear now from Mr. Cook from Maryland.
[The prepared statement of Mr. T. K. Stone follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF T. K. STONE, CHAIRMAN, KENTUCKY ADVISORY COUNCIL ON VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I want to explain to you why I'm here today-and to do it best, I must tell you a little story. If you will be patient, I think the point I'd like to make will develop as the story unfolds. It may differ from the usual pattern of statements made before you and it may even be contrary to protocol: But I yield to no one in the sincerity of my plea. I am T. K. Stone, Chairman of the Kentucky Advisory Council for vocational education and presently connected with the first Hardin National Bank in Elizabethtown in the department of customer relations and business development. Prior to my affiliation with the bank, I spent some forty years as teacher. coach, principal, and superintendent in the public school system of Kentucky during which time I developed strong feelings of both awe and respect for the legislative bodies of our Nation's government and these feelings have remained constant and strong through the years.
During this period of time, I have had contacts with hundreds, yes, literally thousands of students and have tried diligently through the years to instill the same feelings in their thinking-never dreaming in my wildest fantasies that one day I would be appearing before such a group as you-making a supportive appeal for a phase of education in which I have become tremendously interested.
As a student, I never took vocational education classes-either in high school or college-and as a teacher, I never taught in this area and when I became superintendent, I soon learned that society's emphasis was on preparing youngsters for college with comparatively little attention being given to whether this was really the direction they should take. The idea was-get 'em ready for college. So it behooved a school superintendent to get 'em ready for college-which I proceeded to attempt to do. With some degree of success, I trust-approximately 60 percent to 65 percent of our graduates were going on to institutions of higher learning. We were told that this was great and our accreditation at State and regional levels reflected this so-called progress in higher rankings. Quality edu cation and the pursuit of excellence we proudly proclaimed.
But something began to bother me a few years ago. A nagging little question kept popping up in my mind and I kept pushing it back, hoping it would go away. But termite-like-it refused.
The question-actually, it was three questions: (1) What were we doing for the 40 percent who didn't go to college? (2) What were we doing for the dropouts? and (3) What were we doing for the 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of those who did enter college but didn't finish? In helping them to earn a living. that is.
This bugged me-no end-because early in my career, I had placed a little 3 x 5 card in a prominent spot on the desk in my office where I could look at it—and it at me every day. It had on it my philosophy and my goal stated in ten simple words-“For every child—all that he is capable of becoming.” Not a bad philosophy-not a bad goal-for anyone for everyone who carries a bit of the responsi bility of educating our people.
Yes, it sounded good-but it finally dawned on me that this was a classic example of one not practicing what he was preaching.
So, I got busy-and to boil down the efforts of several years into a few wordswe were able, through monies provided by you or your predecessors to establish a vocational extension center in our community.
Now our problem was solved-or so I thought. Not so. My own high school, it developed, had only 39 students who wanted to enroll in our beautiful, functional new facility. And, frankly, it took a little armtwisting to get that many.
The story was pretty much the same in the other high schools which were to be serviced by our vocational center. The total enrollment was much less than we had hoped and expected.
The battle to overcome the status symbol of college bound youngsters and to remove the stigma of the blue collar vocational school bound student had polarized. And it almost polarized me.
But our school people-and society-with perhaps some indirect help from organized labor and perhaps, even, just a trend of the times-has turned the thing around. On September 19, just Thursday of last week, I checked with our local high school people to find that we had about our usual number of students to enroll (44) but 43 others wanted to enroll but couldn't. They were turned awaythere was no room at the inn.
And this situation included only 11th and 12th graders. I was told if the 10th graders had been able to enroll (as regulations now permit), there would have been at least another 50 turned away-most likely more than 50.
I wondered if this was just peculiar to our high school. A telephone survey that took only about an hour or two-revealed that in our 5th region (with 13 high schools) there were 1,049 enrolled in the vocational schools of that region with a total of 285 11th and 12th graders who were turned away (there was no room at the inn) and 545 more (10th graders) who wanted to enroll-but who had no chance at all. (This 545 was a conservative figure, the school men said.) This means that in one little corner of eight counties in Kentucky-830 high school youngsters were denied the opportunity to learn how to make a living-nobody wanted to deny them this opportunity; there was just no room at the inn. And this, when the enrollment figures of the total high school was decreasing-while the number of students who wanted vocational education was increasing.
The stigma of the blue collar worker-so long a road block, it seems to me-is going bye-bye.
I'm sure you have read, as I have, that in America we have the highest unemployment of any nation.
Like it or not, we are living in a technological, industrialized age--and, I am constantly being told, industry has little to offer the young worker without a skill-and industry continues to call on us to supply trained workers and retrain others and we continue to fall short in our efforts to meet this request.
For the record, I would like to insert one single statement to make it crystal clear that I in no way desire to belittle the value of college and university training. After all, it was that which gave me the opportunity to qualify myself for a useful life of service to mankind-and without which I would not be here before you today.
We have previously submitted to you our report on the impact of the 1968 Vocational Education amendments on Vocational Education in Kentucky. We spent a considerable amount of time in the gathering and preparing of this report-and it tells the story real well. The figures are in it-and if you have done your home work and I'm sure you have-you know what's in it—or at least have access to it.
It is my desire to in a different manner of presentation to make it a little more personal and meaningful. But let me cite you just one brief statement of figures: In 1968-69 of the total high school enrollment 17 percent of them were enrolled in Vocational Education gainful employment. In 1972-73 of the total high school enrollment, 32 percent were in gainful employment. Perhaps that helps to explain why there is no room at the inn.
I am not naive enough to believe that what I say to you today has not been said to you many, many times before-orally and/or in print. They are the things, however, that we believe need to be said again, and again and again.
I came across a little booklet the other day whose title and contents "shook" me no little. Time does not permit a discussion of the contents-but just the title itself pretty much tells the story. The title: "The Youth We Haven't Served."
Really, it is they for whom I speak today. Knowing full well, as do you, that as we serve them-we also serve all society.
John W. Gardner has said it well, "If we believe in individual dignity and responsibility-then we must do the necessary, sometimes expensive, often complicated things that will make it possible for each person to have a decent jobif he wants one."
I honestly don't know how much additional money it will take to finance the total vocational education program as we feel it needs-perhaps only a reallotment or a reshuffling of funds is necessary-I don't know-I just know the need is there I see it-I talk to the teachers-the parents-the kids themselves. Vocational Education, in my humble judgment, is an idea whose time has come. In closing, may I repeat my previous statement of an early and continued feeling of awe and respect for you and your fellow legislators. I have only a
faint idea of the tremendous demands that are made of you for all kinds of services and facilities-(I have talked to my Congressman Bill Natcher on numerous occasions through the years and he's done a pretty good job of convincing me that my request was not the only one his committee had to consider). Your record in developing a sound vocational education program in our United States is a success story of no mean proportions-for that all of us here today are grateful.
Our purpose at least my purpose today, is to as the kids back home say— just try to tell it like it is—and have the faith and hope that you will in your deliberations remember the little ten word slogan that was on the card on my desk for so many years-"For every child-all that he is capable of becoming." This must be the collective philosophy and goal for all of us.
We are grateful for what you're doing-we believe that you believe in the cause for which we plead today and I for one, Honestly, feel you will make the effort to do all you can with what you have to do with. Really, no man can ask
In summation, may I say these few words and if you forget everything else I have said I sincerely hope you will remember this:
You have put together-in the vocational education amendments of 1968-a tremendously effective vehicle within the framework of which we as advisory councils, in getting the pulse of the general public, and working in conjunction with the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, and more specifically with the expertise of the Bureau of Vocational Education-we believe we can help to refine and improve the total program-in an advisory capacity that is-not administratively-we do not want to run this ship.
The basic structure of the present legislation does not, in our opinion, need to be basically altered.
What we need-what we really need-what we desperately need is more room at the inn.
It has been a great honor and thrill for me to appear before you on this occaasion and I shall be eternally grateful.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee-as Perry Mason would put it— "The defense rests."
STATEMENT OF ROBERT COOK, CHAIRMAN, EVALUATION
COMMITTEE, MARYLAND STATE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Mr. Cook. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Gentlemen, I am Bob Cook of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Vocational Technical Education, and I am pleased to appear before you as a spokesman for the Maryland council.
I am an economist and director of a private nonprofit corporation. I don't know whether I should admit to be an economist in today's market. It may lead to questioning the credibility of what I have to say here.
Like Mr. Stone, I am not paid for serving here. I am a member of the council. But it is very important work and I am glad for the opportunity.
We have also entered a written statement for the record.
First, in my statement we believe the Vocational Education Amendments of 1968 are good legislation, that they do much to upgrade the educational programs in our State. But there is still much to be done. We feel that we can be substantially assisted in doing this by new Federal legislation.
We believe that the problems which I will enumerate now are deserving of your attention and we respect fully recommend that you enact this legislation so that it will address these problems.
A serious imbalance exists between the education system and the needs of our society as measured by employment requirements, labor force composition that is, in Maryland. We understand the same serious imbalance in approximately the same percentages exists on a national basis. Specifically, 45 percent of Maryland students are enrolled in 4-year colleges or professional programs. The demands of the labor force market project a need for only 16 percent of that 45 percent; quite an imbalance.
Only 34 percent of our students are preparing for a skill or trade or middle manpower jobs in vocational education programs while 79 percent of the available jobs are in that market.
Twenty-three percent of all secondary students are still enrolled in general high school programs and, as someone has already said, there is very little opportunity for this group in the job market.
Our supporting written statement illustrates this serious imbalance by the use of graphic balance scales. As a result of this mismatch between the educational system and the world of work, educational dollars are being spent for the wrong things. Student expectations are not fulfilled and this results in serious frustrations and this generates a whole host of socioeconomic problems with these students and young people.
Students are forced to accept jobs very different from their training and aspirations.
I just found that that we have many, many college graduates returning to vocational-technical schools or apprenticeship programs to learn a trade or skill so that they can earn a living which their college preparation did not prepare them to do.
There is a very high unemployment rate among students untrained for the available jobs, especially the general students and dropouts. The apparent reasons for these serious imbalances and resulting problems is the overemphasis placed on professional training and on 4-year college education as others at this table have indicated. This is the fault of all of us. Probably we as parents are most guilty. However mistaken or misguided, we, as parents in America, almost universally aspire to have our children go to college and be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Then this problem is compounded by almost a complete lack of career education and the breakdown of the guidance counselor system especially as it relates to vocational-technical training.
Just a few examples we have found in studies that our advisory council has conducted:
Less than 50 percent of the high schools in the State of Maryland provide any vocational guidance for students. Counselors constantly emphasize the needs of the college-bound student to the detriment of the vocational student. Counselors are, for the most part, quite ignorant about vocational and technical careers. There is very little literature or other information on vocational-technical occupations to be found in the typical high school, at least in my State.
Well-meaning counselors are always burdened with noncareer-counseling duties. Counselor education programs in the State of Maryland don't even require a single course in vocational counseling. In