Topics in the News
In an effort to rectify the problems of increased dropout rates, the importance of adult education increased during the 1950s. The average American worker had not completed high school. In 1950 only 58.2 percent of all fifth-graders would eventually graduate from high school. At a time when science and mathematics were becoming a matter of national defense, improving the quality of the adult population became a priority.
Vocational and life-skills training comprised the most common courses and most effective solutions available. Those courses, offered in home economics, trade and industry, agriculture, and health-related fields, provided Americans with practical training for employment. The students who would have left school or those who had left school could now be educated for the employment they sought. And those students would also increase their annual incomes: skilled workers earned an average of two thousand dollars more per year than their unskilled counterparts. All levels of government funded the programs ($129 million in 1950; $228 million in 1959), with the bulk of resources coming from local government. People recognized that only through a better-trained and better-educated adult population could the country compete in the growing international market and defense spheres which would follow in the coming decades. Schools offered courses at night and on weekends for working adults. A...
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Church vs. State
Funding Private Schools.
Religious instruction for children was debated as the economy tightened. As calls for more federal funding increased, the government, educators, and parents questioned whether public federal funds should go toward the funding of a private-education system. In 1950 over three million children (or approximately 10 percent of the children enrolled in all schools) were in the Catholic education system. In the view of some people, parochial schools served a block of students substantial enough to warrant funding.
The push for federal funding of parochial schools originated over bus transportation. In March 1950 Representative John F. Kennedy, a Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts, failed to gain support from the House Labor Committee to allocate federal money for bus service to parochial-school children. Eleanor Roosevelt had spoken against the bill on 6 March, stating that she had sent her children to private schools and never expected "anyone to pay for it." A week later a $3.145-million Senate-approved aid-to-education bill was rejected by the House Labor Committee due to controversy over federal money for auxiliary services in parochial schools. The bill would have permitted each state to determine funding allocations.
Signs from the...
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Educational methods changed significantly during the 1950s as Americans started to reap the benefits of a strong economy, with a job waiting for almost every able-bodied adult. To face this new, prosperous world, schools changed curricula. Teaching students "life adjustment" took precedence over the traditional skills of math, science, and reading. Schools emphasized mental, physical, and emotional aspects of a child's life. The humanities and life skills became the new focus of educators. Home-economics classes and government classes attained record enrollments as citizenship and managing the home and family became high priorities. Comprehensive high schools offered a wide variety of vocational training as well as numerous electives in such areas as photography, botanical care, and baby care. Audio-visual aids, modern laboratory equipment, and supplemental reference materials regularly enhanced education in the modern school system.
Universities and colleges, for the first tim e in decades, required philosophy as a general-education course to ensure a more liberal education. In March 1950 the New York Times reported that 34 percent of U.S. colleges required history, up from 18 percent in 1942. Science-based graduates decreased and home-economics graduates increased. Critics charged that the...
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Prior to the 1950s the uniform desegregation of the educational system had already begun at the university level. But it took nothing less than social revolution to force integregation of the nation's segregated elementary and secondary schools, and the higher-education experience provided little help as the entire educational system grappled with the issue.
Sweatt v. Painter.
In June 1950 the Supreme Court handed down two cases that affected Southern higher education. Heman Marion Sweatt, a black, had applied for admission to the University of Texas Law School in 1946. His application was rejected solely due to race, and he brought a case against the university that resulted in a separate law school being set up for blacks, with part-time faculty from the University of Texas. Sweatt refused to attend, and more litigation ensued. Finally the Supreme Court ruled that the University of Texas Law School must admit Sweatt because the separate law school was "not substantially equal to those available to white law students."
McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents.
The other case involved G. W. McLaurin, a black doctoral student in education at the University of Oklahoma. The school had set aside special places for him to sit in classrooms, the...
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John Dewey and Progressive Education
John Dewey, the father of "progressive education," died in 1952. The founder and president of the American Association of University Professors, Dewey spent his life dealing with philosophy and education as they related to democracy. His work, Democracy and Education (1916), charged that education was an experimental science capable of guiding individual and community growth toward better democracy.
Progressive education, while not new in the 1950s, was a driving force in schools. Dewey challenged educators to concern themselves with such aspects of learning as conversation, curiosity, construction skills, and artistic expression. His view of education advocated learning by doing. Students were taught by "projects" wherein, for example, the study of milk could be related to science, math, reading, and so on. Critics, including the Council on Basic Education, charged that students under this program were lacking in basic skills. Despite this criticism, progressive education continued to affect teaching methods throughout the decade.
Daniel Tanner, Crusade for Democracy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991).
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Drafting College Students
The Korean War in the early 1950s resulted in an active draft of college-age males. In January 1951 Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall announced that male college students could finish their academic year, but then they had to enlist in the military branch of their choice or risk the draft. There was a 50 percent drop in spring-semester enrollments, due to panic enlistments by students who wanted to choose for themselves which branch of the military to enter.
Two months later, in March 1951, President Harry S Truman approved deferment of college students of superior scholastic standing or those who achieved high scores on national aptitude tests. In October 1951 it was reported that 37 percent of the 339,056 college students who took the aptitude tests, given on four different dates earlier in the year, had passed, earning deferment. Some local boards complained that college deferments made it difficult for them to meet quotas.
In the South more college-age men escaped the draft because of illiteracy than scholastic potential. Draft boards in five southern states had the highest rejection rates in the nation of men educationally unfit to serve in the military: in South Carolina 58 percent of all persons aged twenty-five to thirty-five tested functionally illiterate, in Louisiana 48 percent; in Mississippi 45 percent; in Alabama 43 percent; and in Georgia, 36 percent....
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Federal Funding for Education
Federal funding for education was controversial during the 1950s. Social and political events shaped education and how it was financed. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported in 1950 that the annual cost of educating a pupil, adjusted for inflation, rose 37 percent over the previous decade (from $92 per pupil per year in 1940 to $232 in 1950 in dollars of the day; by 1960 per pupil expenditure for education rose to $433). The funding from all sources needed for pupil education during the 1950s reached over $15 billion by 1959. However, the percentage of national income spent on education had dropped from 15.31 percent in 1940 to 8.24 percent in 1950 and was predicted to drop more during the 1950s. (In fact, the percentage rose slightly during the decade.) Educators and social observers argued for more federal aid to education as a means of ensuring the ability of the nation to compete in the world economy and to keep pace in the age of technology.
Little attention was paid at the time, however, to the strings attached to federal funds. Few realized the potential for federal intrusion into education until 1954, when the federal government ordered desegregation. Although the U.S. Supreme Court did not apply the principle at the time, it later argued that even though the federal government provided only about 4.5 percent of the cost of educating a student in public elementary and secondary schools in...
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Great Books Program
The American Dream and Self-Education.
The 1950s was a decade in which middle-class Americans sought to improve themselves through self-education. In this country the path of upward social mobility is clear-cut. First comes prosperity, then respectability, and one of the components of respectability is a liberal arts education. It was too late for newly prosperous adults to return to the classroom to get the knowledge they imagined they had missed the first time through, if they had been lucky enough to receive a college education: only about 6 percent of adults had college degrees in 1950. Self-education was the next best alternative, and it was offered through the highly touted Great Books program.
Bringing the Great Books to the Masses.
The Great Books Foundation was started in 1947 by Robert M. Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, "to provide the means of general liberal education to all adults." The foundation boasted a distinguished team of experts, including philosopher-historian Mortimer J. Adler. By 1950 there were some twelve hundred Great Books programs in four hundred cities with about twenty-five thousand participants. Adults ranging in occupation from cab driver to clergyman met in classrooms, YMCAs, churches, and homes to discuss those works that the foundation had designated as "Great Books."...
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Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth
On 3-7 December 1950 the White House Conference on Youth and Children, held at the beginning of each decade, brought together over six thousand delegates and observers from the United States and abroad. The conference was the culmination of two years of preparation by 464 national organizations, including the National Education Association. The first attendance by children was in 1950.
The conference was a nonpartisan, nongovernmental project with only one-fifth of the funding coming from federal sources. The purpose was "to consider what we need to do in order to develop in children the mental, emotional, and spiritual qualities essential to individual happiness and responsible citizenship; and how the physical, economic, and social conditions of our society affect this great goal." A set of sixty-seven recommendations and a pledge to children resulted from the four days of panels and sessions. Among the many recommendations were several related to education including:
* That elementary, secondary, college and community education includes such appropriate experiences and studies of childhood and family life as will help young people to mature toward the role of parenthood.
* That further federal aid be provided to the states for educational services, in tax-supported public schools, without federal control, to help equalize...
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National Defense Education Act of 1958
By 1958 the Soviet threat grew more immediate; the Soviet Union had launched Sputnik in late 1957, suggesting the capability to launch offensive missiles at the United States. For the first time in the decade, the president recommended deferring plans for school construction in favor of support for the sciences. The National Defense Education Act provided $887 million over four years for education that could support national security goals—especially training scientists. The act contained ten titles designed to improve the nation's schools:
Title I prohibited federal control over curriculum, administration, or personnel;
Title II provided federal assistance for low-interest loans to college students ($295 million);
Title III provided financial assistance for science, mathematics, and modern foreign-language instruction ($300 million);
Title IV created National Defense Fellowships for students entering teaching fields at universities or colleges;
Title V established grants for state educational agencies for guidance testing services ($88 million);
Title VI provided support for modern foreign language programs ($15.25 million);...
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Office of Education and Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (Hew)
For almost a century the United States valued education enough to dedicate a special governmental office to it. The Office of Education was formed in 1867 in President Andrew Johnson's administration and was under the Department of the Interior. In 1939 the office came under the Federal Security Agency. Although the Office of Education had no direct administrative authority over the various state educational agencies, it did have specific tasks. The office conducted educational research and collected statistics and other facts about education; it administered federal grants-in-aid for vocational training in a variety of fields; and it helped in program planning with respect to school standards in administration, instruction, teacher training, and supervision. Its legal mandate was to "aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country."
A New Secretary....
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President's Committee on Education Beyond the High School
White House Conference on Education.
In April 1956, as one result of the White House Conference on Education in 1955, the president created a thirty-three-member committee to study the problems of higher education. The committee examined four problems: the demand for post-high-school education now and in the next fifteen years; the resources to meet this demand; the proposals made for modification and improvement; and the appropriate relationships of the federal government to education beyond the high school.
The committee presented an interim report in November 1956 that called attention to the need for (1) state-by-state surveys of future enrollments, necessary facilities, and staff along with probable costs; (2) a definite federal policy on aid to education beyond the high school; (3) expansion of sources for financial support; (4) a broader ranger of post-high-school educational opportunities; and (5) "many more able and qualified teachers than present efforts can provide,"
A final report, prepared in August 1957, called for emphasis on recruiting teachers, creation of a work-study program, incometax deductions for college expenses, and long-range goal planning for college budgets, and long-range planning for college facilities. It concluded that in...
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Quality in Education?
A 1951 test by the California State Board of Education of eleven thousand Los Angeles high school juniors revealed startling facts about the nation's schools. Three percent of the students tested could not tell time; 18 percent did not know the number of months in a year; 9 percent did not know how many 3 cent stamps could be bought for 75 cents; and 16 percent did not know how many U.S. senators came from each state.
A New York Times
survey, reported on 11 June 1951, revealed that college and university students showed a "shocking" lack of knowledge about U.S. and world geography. Less than 50 percent could estimate the U.S. population within 50 percent. Critics of the new "life-adjustment" curricula used the result to renew their calls for a return to basics.
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Funding the Future Through R and D
Help for the Sciences.
In 1950 the National Science Foundation began an annual survey of funding available from various sources for use in research and development, with a special emphasis, as one might expect, on funds available for scientific R and D. The results of the first survey, which covered the year 1953, showed research at the country's colleges and universities was big business but not big enough. In 1953 $334 million was expended at American institutions of higher education for R and D; the total national expenditure was $5.2 billion, of which 53 percent came from federal sources. By 1960 R and D expenditures had jumped to $825 million at universities as compared to a total of $13.7 billion of which 63.7 percent came from federal sources. In short, only about 6 percent of the nation's research and development was on college campuses, and the percentage of expended money that came from industry shrunk over the decade.
The lesson seemed clear. Universities could be called upon to produce scientists and mathematicians to meet the challenges of the future, but after they were trained, big business put them to work. Doctoral degrees in the hard sciences, mathematics, and education grew slightly over the decade as funding promoted better programs. But universities did not respond well to the challenge of...
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The "Red Scare" in Education
The "Red Scare" of the 1950s touched every aspect of people's lives, including education. The loyalty of educators, at all levels, came under scrutiny as people expressed their fears that subversive forces were seeking control of schools. In February 1950 the U.S. commissioner of education, Dr. Earl James McGrath, warned against Communists teaching in public school, and the National Education Association barred membership of Communists at its annual meeting in July 1950. School districts required loyalty oaths from their teachers and employees. Universities cleansed their staffs and faculties of suspected subversive personnel. Such purges came at a price. The New York City school districts found so may suspected subversives that they suffered teacher shortages due to dismissals.
New York Eight.
In May 1950 eight teachers in New York City suspected of being Communists were suspended without pay, pending a board subcommittee trial. By mid December the eight were recommended for dismissal, although no specific proof could be found during a seven-month investigation that any of them had Communist
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How students should be evaluated came under scrutiny during the 1950s. As curricula and teaching methods changed, so did the traditional method of grading: As, Bs, Cs, and so on. The newest fad in grading became known as SNUX, or Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory. The change affected all grade levels and brought about a revolt by the parents who grew up with the traditional method.
Parents and critics of the new system contended that a former "C" student would be considered "Satisfactory," undistinguished from the former "A" student. Some educators feared a drop in the natural competition between students which fosters learning. In addition, the new system also increased the amount of work for teachers who had to rate a student's ability in science and math as well as evaluating him or her in such new categories as "Ability to communicate" and "Ability to not spread disease." Critics were unsuccessful, however, and the new grading system continued well into the coming decades, especially at the elementary-school level.
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Who Had to Go.
State laws defining compulsory school attendance varied widely during the 1950s. Children between the ages of fourteen and sixteen who had legal employment typically were allowed to quit school. In twenty-one states a student could leave only after reaching the eighth grade, and in twelve states only after reaching the sixth or seventh grade. In 1955 the NEA called for mandatory attendance until graduation from high school or age eighteen. But the issue fell under the states' control, so each state had to debate the issue and pass its own law.
Why Drop Out?
A survey in 1950 of students who dropped out before completing high school reported that 36 percent preferred to work; 15 percent needed the money to help at home; 11 percent were not interested in school; and the remainder cited various reasons, such as failure, poor performance, ill health, or dislike of a subject or teacher. A majority of students called for more work-experience opportunities, specific vocational training, and smaller class sizes to provide increased individual attention. Those requests played into the hands of educators who stressed the life-adjustment curriculum.
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Too Many Students.
The baby boom after World War II traumatized the education system during the 1950s. School enrollment had been more or less un-changed from year to year from the 1930s until 1952, when the first wave of baby boomers hit. Every year thereafter elementary school population increased by 1.5 to 2 million students, and between 1950 and 1960 the number of students in elementary school had increased by 50 percent. Concerns over the supply of teachers and school buildings to educate those students began well before 1952. In February 1950 the U.S. Office of Education warned in its annual report that the nation's educational system had "shocking disorder and ineffectiveness." The report estimated that $10 billion would be needed to improve and build school buildings and increase the teacher supply; by 1951 estimates had increased to $14 billion. The nation needed to build approximately 270,000 new classrooms to meet enrollment increases.
As educators and government strived to increase the amount of money appropriated for schools, the U.S. Office of Education reported that expenditures for towns of more than twenty-five hundred dropped six dollars per pupil per year in 1950-1951. Commissioner of Education Earl J. McGrath called the drop "shocking" and stated "we cannot afford a further reduction in education...
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Concerns about the quality of the nation's teachers grew as the number of students in the school system increased. In 1950 the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education stated that 90 percent of college professors were poor teachers. The National Education Association's Commission on Teacher Education and Professional Standards, in February 1951, reported that less than 50 percent of the twelve hundred colleges and universities offering training in education met "reasonable standards." It labeled training as "chaotic," and the associations urged a national organization to improve training for teachers and the professors who taught them. That, coupled with the massive dismissals due to the "Red Scares," left the educational system lacking an adequate teacher base.
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Television's Effect on Education
The Tube Invasion.
Many Americans found a new source of entertainment in the 1950s—television. Before long, critics worried that the "boob tube" would have harmful effects on education. In 1950, 3.875 million American households, or 9 percent, owned a television. By 1960 that number had increased to 45.75 million, or 87.1 percent. This dramatic jump led experts in several fields to examine the effect of television on the nation's children.
An Educational Opportunity.
Television without doubt increased the amount of information available to children and their parents. Upto-the-minute visual news about the country and the world became readily available. Universities that could afford the high start-up costs could potentially establish production facilities and become the cultural and intellectual beacons. Many predicted great educational opportunities arising from television. McGrath stated, "Through the use of television, educational institutions will be able to bring the greatest teachers, the finest artists, scientists, and philosophers into schools and homes."
Television and other audiovisual media became highly valued teaching tools during the 1950s. The movie industry spent millions of dollars tap-ping into the educational market. Sciences, life skills,...
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U.S. vs. Soviet Schools
A two-year study by the Office of Education released in November 1957 revealed a basic difference between the U.S. and Soviet school systems. Soviet education was authoritarian and aimed at the fulfillment of the state's needs. Soviet students had a rigid program of study, small class sizes, and well-educated teachers. That contrasted with the U.S, system, wherein "the goal of education is the development of each individual … with freedom and with opportunity to choose his life's work in his best interests" and in which curricula, class sizes, and teacher shortages were pervasive problems. The study also noted that the clear emphasis placed upon science and technology in Soviet schools was lacking in the U.S. system. To many Americans the flight of Sputnik a month earlier underscored the need for change.
In 1958 a Soviet-U.S. cultural exchange agreement brought twenty Soviet students and youth leaders to the United States in July. They complained that U.S. education was expensive and militarized—an ironic comment coming from an education system built solely to support the country's war machine. In addition, they felt U.S. students knew little of the Soviet Union.
On the other hand, U.S. education commissioner Lawrence Derthick,...
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White House Conference on Education
The White Conference on Education, held 28 November-1 December 1955, was the first of its kind. It involved citizens and educators in a study of current educational problems. Money had been allocated earlier in the year for each state to hold its own conference, culminating with the national event. The agenda comprised six topics: (1) What should the schools accomplish? (2) In what ways can the schools be operated more efficiently and economically? (3) What are the school building needs? (4) How can enough good teachers be secured and kept on the job? (5) How can the schools be financed, built, and operated? and (6) How can a continuing public interest in education be obtained?
The conference produced a plan for Congress to fund. HEW Secretary Folsom planned to design a proposals around three principles: (1) state and local efforts should not be reduced by federal aid for school buildings; (2) need should be the basis for assistance; and (3) local school-system freedom should be maintained. The third point resulted from fears about the federal government's intrusion into education and the loss of local control.
A report on the conference appeared in April 1956. It contended that "The schools have fallen far behind both the aspirations of the American people and...
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Why Johnny Can't Read
Phonics Is the Answer.
In 1955 Rudolf Flesch published his influential work, Why Johnny Can't Read and What You Can Do About It. He discussed the reading problems of the nation's children and how television had a negative effect on reading ability. Television programs brought about memorization through word associations and promoted learning through pictures—not true reading ability. The answer, according to Flesch, was phonics. Phonetic practice enabled students to sound out words unfamiliar to them, and although comprehension came later through experience, phonics would make good readers.
The debate between proponents of phonics and sight reading, or recognizing words by sight, did not begin with Flesch. In 1954 Collier's ran a six-part study of education entitled "The Struggle for Our Children's Minds," which included a look at phonics. Parents complained that sight reading led to the misunderstanding of words. For example, children would see a scene with a word underneath it and assume it only meant one thing: meadow would be read as pasture. On the other hand, sight reading was fun and effective, adherents argued. The debate over how to teach reading would continue throughout the decade without resolution.
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Conant, James B. 1893-1978
Calling for Education Reform.
In 1953 James B. Conant vacated his position as president of Harvard University to become the U.S. high commissioner for Germany. He did not abandon his role as an innovator in education, however. Throughout the decade he continued to draw publicity as he pressed for reforms in America's school system. His call for higher standards in American education culminated in the 1959 publication of The American High School Today, which sold over half a million copies.
Revamping the Public High Schools.
While at Harvard, Conant gained a reputation for championing the concept of liberal education, with its emphasis on a broad curriculum of study for college freshmen and sophomores. After leaving Harvard, he began to focus his attention on American high schools. Pro-claiming the "typical" American high school to be a myth, Conant argued that schools differed widely from one education district to the next, given America's cultural and geographic...
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Faubus, Orval E. 1910-
GOVERNOR OF ARKANSAS (1954-1967)
Reputation as a Segregationist.
Known as a strong segregationist, Gov. Orval Faubus brought about the single most controversial reaction to Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas in 1957. Earlier in the year Faubus signed four bills that created an anti-integration investigation committee; authorized parents to refuse to send their children to integrated schools; required organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to publish membership roles and financial data; and authorized the use of school-district funds to hire lawyers and pay for other legal costs to fight integration. He was determined to keep Arkansas segre-gated despite federal rulings to the contrary.
Little Rock Crisis.
The events in Little Rock shook the country, and the American public viewed Faubus several times on television defending his segregationist beliefs. He saw the black students as the "cause" of the problems and encouraged violence to maintain the status quo. As federal troops took control of the situation, Faubus charged that the...
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Marshall, Thurgood 1908-1993
DIRECTOR OF LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND OF NAACP (1939-1961); ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT (1967-1991)
Championing Civil Rights.
Marshall's years at the NAACP were spent representing people who had been denied their legal rights because of their race. He won twenty-nine of the thirty-two civil rights cases he brought before the Supreme Court including the 1950 Sweatt v. Painter which set the ground for Brown.
In the National Spotlight.
Marshall's most notable case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, put segregation squarely before the nation in 1954. He argued, along with George Hayes and James Nabrit, Jr., that the separated schools for black and white children were not equal and black students were being denied the equal protection under the law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
Supreme Court Justice.
His appointment to the Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 made him the first black to sit on the...
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People in the News
Horace Mann Bond was influential in the integration of Lincoln (Pennsylvania) University. He was the first black to become president of the school (1945-1957) and became dean of the School of Education at Atlanta University in 1957.
The 1954 class-action suit named after eleven-year-old Linda Brown, Brown v. Board of Education ofTopeka, Kansas; ended racial segregation in the public schools.
Autherine Lucy was admitted to the University of Alabama by court order in 1957. After riots broke out, university officials removed her from campus. She made several allegations against the university regarding her poor treatment which resulted in her permanent expulsion from the school. This action made her a symbol of the struggle of desegregation.
Sol Markoff, associate general director of the National Child Labor Committee, in 1952 criticized Congress for spending $6.5 million yearly to study migratory birds and refusing to fund $181,000 for better education for migrant workers' children.
In 1955 the University of Iowa's Dora Lee Martin, seventeen, became the school's first black campus sweet-heart after integration in 1952.
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, in 1952 and 1953, stated it was his personal crusade to rid the universities and colleges of subversives. His...
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TEACHER OF THE YEAR
1952: Geraldone Wheldon Jones—First Grade Hope Public School, Santa Barbara, California
1953: Dorthy Hamilton—Social Studies Milford High School, Milford, Connecticut
1954: Willard Wideberg—Seventh Grade Dekalb Junior High School, Dekalb, Illinois
1955: Margaret Perry—Fourth Grade Monmouth Elementary, Monmouth, Oregon
1956: Richard Nelson—Science Flathead Country High School, Kalispell, Montana
1957: Eugene G. Bizzell—Speech, English and Debate A. N. McCallum High School, Austin, Texas, and Mary F. Schwartz—Third Grade Bristol Elementary, Kansas City, Missouri
1958: Jean Listebarger Humphrey—Second Grade Edwards Elementary, Ames, Iowa
1959: Edna Donley—Mathematics and Speech Alva High School, Alva, Oklahoma
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Harold Allen, member of the National Education Association staff for twenty-six years, instrumental in rural and agricultural education, 3 November 1958.
Mary Ritter Beard, 82, U.S. historian who worked to include women in the predominantly male-centered history works, 14 August 1958.
Dr. Mary Kendrick Benedict, 81, first president of Sweet Briar College (Virginia), 10 February 1956.
Mildred C. Berleman, former editor of American Teacher, (1942-54), 8 November 1955.
Katherine Devereux Blake, 92, pioneer in education for women, organized first evening high school for women, 2 February 1950.
Ward C. Bowen, 64, chief of Audio and Visual Aids bureau and director of visual education for New York State Education Department, advisory consultant with CBS educational television, 1956.
Isaiah Brown, president emeritus of Johns Hopkins University and one of the world's leading geographers, 6 January 1950.
Samuel P. Capen, 78, first director of the American Council of Education, 22 June 1956.
Philander Priestley Claxton, 94, U.S. commissioner of education, 1911-1921, 12 January 1951.
Dr. Edmund E. Day, 67, president emeritus of Cornell...
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Philippe Aries, Centuries of Childhood (New York: Knopf, 1962);
Association for Childhood Education International, Continuous Learning (Washington, D.C., 1951);
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Growing Up in an Anxious Age (Washington, D.C., 1952);
Alfred Bestor, The Restoration of Learning (New York: Knopf, 1955);
William F. Buckley, God and Man at Yale (Chicago: Regnery, 1951);
Leslie Lee Chisholm, The Work of the Modern High School (New York: Macmillan, 1953);
Columbia University Teachers College, Are Liberal Arts Colleges Becoming Professional Schools? (New York: Columbia University Teachers College, 1958);
James B. Conant, Citadel of Learning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1956);
Conant, The Revolutionary Transformation of the American High School (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959);
Lester Donald Crow, High School Education (New York: Odyssey Press, 1951);
Monroe E. Deutsch, The College from Within (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952);
William Clyde De Vane, The American University in the Twentieth Century (Baton Rouge:...
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Important Events in Education, 1950–1959
- 29.8 million elementary and secondary students and 2.3 million college and professional-school students attend school.
- On April 16, Congress creates the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF promotes science education and research.
- On July 1, the New Orleans Board of Education in Louisians grants full privileges to married teachers, including the right to promotion (not granted since the Depression).
- On October 16, the New Jersey Supreme Court upholds the practice of reading five verses of the Old Testament every day in all public schools.
- On August 18, the Associated Press reports college costs up 400 percent from fifty years ago. Average tuition for one year is eighteen hundred dollars.
- On September 18, Pope Pius XII states his opposition to sex education in schools.
- On October 19, Yale University celebrates its 250th anniversary.
- Baby boomers enter school in record numbers.
- Twenty percent of college and 10 percent of elementary-and secondary-school students are in desegregated classrooms.
- On March 2, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may bar members of the communist party from...
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