Topics in the News
Politics and Funding During the Nixon-Carter Years
Questions about Great Society Programs.
The decade began with some serious questioning of the unprecedented spending on education that had characterized the 1960s. President Richard Nixon's 1970 message on education reform signaled the beginning of a shift away from former president Lyndon Johnson's faith in education as a cornerstone of a Great Society. Nixon criticized some of Johnson's most highly touted compensatory education programs such as Head Start and Upward Bound. These programs, conceived to help impoverished students catch up with their middle-class peers, had made impressive gains, but testing showed those gains did not always last. President Nixon pleaded for further research into what really might work to help pull poor children up out of poverty. "We must stop congratulating ourselves for spending nearly as much money on education as does the rest of the world combined—$65 billion per year—when we are not getting as much as we should out of the dollars we spend," Nixon told Congress. Even more-liberal sources agreed that it would be wise to question the aim of spending. James Coleman, author of the 1966 federally commissioned report, Equality of Educational Opportunity, which criticized the impact of some anti-poverty programs, agreed with Daniel P. Moynihan, Democrat and education counselor to the president, that the key factors in academic success remained the...
(The entire section is 924 words.)
Federal Education Legislation for the Handicapped
Equal Access for All Learners.
In 1971 a state case in Pennsylvania set the stage for a dramatic change in the treatment of retarded (the term in use at the time) children's education. The state court threw out a law that had allowed school psychologists to declare some students uneducable and untrainable and provided for a free public education for the state's one hundred thousand retarded students aged six through twenty-one. At this time it was estimated that 62 percent of the intellectually and emotionally handicapped students in the United States were not receiving public education. The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 set in motion what was to become a major transformation of federal policy in public education when it mandated, "No handicapped individual shall be excluded from any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Since by this time every school district was receiving some funding through the ESEA, the implications were enormous for the public schools. In 1975, in order to clarify the schools' responsibilities, Public Law 94-142, better known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, was passed to guarantee all handicapped students a right to a free public education. This act applied to all children ages three through twenty-one who were physically handicapped, deaf, blind, mentally retarded, or emotionally disturbed. The act suggested that,...
(The entire section is 423 words.)
Federal and State Bilingual Education Policy
The Origins of Bilingual Education.
Congress first passed the Bilingual Education Act in 1968, as Title VII of the revised ESEA, and it was renewed in 1974. In that same year the Supreme Court, in Lau v. Nichols, ruled in favor of a class-action suit brought by Chinese students, asserting that school districts serving substantial numbers of children with language deficiencies were violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if they did not do something special for these pupils. Similar court decisions were reached in cases featuring both Puerto Rican and Chicano plaintiffs, and in 1974 the revised Title VII provided further funding for the training of bilingual teachers. During the 1970s twenty states enacted local bilingual-education acts, a major shift in educational policy, especially since prior to 1968 many states had approved legislation requiring all public-school instruction to be conducted in English. In seven of those states teachers had formerly faced criminal penalties for conducting bilingual classes. Title VII changed all that, but because only nineteen hundred bilingual teachers were entering the field each year, and since it was estimated that twenty-four thousand bilingual teachers would be needed by the end of the 1970s, many school districts continued to struggle to provide bilingual instruction.
Controversy Over Bilingual Education....
(The entire section is 444 words.)
Busing to Achieve Desegregation
"With All Deliberate Speed."
Busing as a means of transporting students to public schools was nothing new, with about 43 percent of the nation's schoolchildren riding buses each day in the years 1972-1973. Busing children from school to school in order to provide school districts with racial balance, however, was new. Busing for large-scale desegregation purposes was started in 1971, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that many school districts had not complied with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and its 1955 follow-up, wherein the justices had ordered desegregation "with all deliberate speed." In the South that mandate had produced some "freedom of choice" plans under which students were technically free to choose any school in the district and hence provide racial balance; in practice, however, most students stayed where they were, and most school districts stayed segregated. By 1971, however, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education the Court decided that "all deliberate speed" had not been speedy enough. The school district of Charlotte, North Carolina, was ordered to bus its students across district lines to achieve desegregation. The justices reasoned that busing was warranted because the city and county in question had deliberately and knowingly taken steps in the past to frustrate the integration of their public schools....
(The entire section is 1315 words.)
The Literacy Crisis
America Learns of the Problem.
The debate over literacy and basic skills began in the early 1970s and heated to the boiling point by the middle of the decade. In late 1975 Newsweek ran a cover story on the back-to-basics movement occasioned by the fact that "nationwide, the statistics on literacy grow more appalling each year.… Willy-nilly, the U.S. educational system is spawning a generation of semi-literates." Newsweek writers attempted to define "Why Johnny Can't Write." Their opening paragraph, outlining the problem, was alarmist:
If your children are attending college, the chances are that when they graduate they will be unable to write ordinary, expository English with any degree of structure and lucidity. If they are in high school and planning to attend college, the chances are less than even that they will be able to write English at the minimal college level when they get there. If they are not planning to attend college, their skills in writing English may not even qualify them for secretarial or clerical work. If they are attending elementary school, they are almost certainly not being given the kind of required reading material, much less writing instruction, that might make it possible for them to eventually write comprehensible English.
The SATs Plummet....
(The entire section is 890 words.)
Textbooks Under Fire
First Stirrings of Trouble.
Mel and Norma Gabler, citizens of Hawkins, Texas, began a crusade for textbook censorship in 1961 when their son brought home a history text that the Gablers examined and found filled with "unpatriotic and anti-Christian teachings." From a modest beginning in an Austin school board hearing that year, the couple ignited a firestorm of national criticism of educational publishing companies. At its height in the mid 1970s this protest affected the textbook selection process throughout the United States; most of the serious debates, however, were concentrated in the twenty-two states—mostly in the South and Southwest—where textbooks had to be approved by state, rather than local, authorities.
The Gablers expressed the feelings of thousands of their supporters when they summarized their campaign as an assault on the "deviousness and danger of textbooks which are gradually but effectively directing student minds away from basic Christian values." To the Gablers, modern textbooks were too relativistic, "questioning anything fixed or absolute," and undermining "traditional, basic, biblical, exact values." Although the Gablers' opponents pointed out that children learned their values from an infinite number of sources besides textbooks, the Gablers ironically used the promotional claims of textbook...
(The entire section is 865 words.)
Religious Schooling During the 1970s
Enrollment in Catholic Schools.
The once-strong urban systems of parochial schools in the United States suffered a setback during the 1970s. Administrators of Catholic schools faced problems on three fronts: student enrollment, finances, and personnel. According to the United States Office of Education (USOE) figures, during the ten-year period from 1961 to 1971 public-school enrollment was up 22.5 percent while parochial school enrollment was down 8.1 percent. The National Catholic Education Association reported a steady decline in enrollments in nearly all areas of the United States from the peak enrollment years of 1965-1966. During 1970 twelve Catholic schools closed in Chicago and Detroit alone, with over fifty thousand students transferring to the public systems there. Elementary parochial schools closed nationwide at the rate of one per day in 1970-1971, and 135 Catholic high schools closed or consolidated themselves according to USOE reports. The rate of closings slowed down in 1976, and by 1978, as a result of increasing numbers of black students in urban areas entering parochial schools for the first time, the decline eased significantly. Also, in some urban centers such as Boston, there was actually white flight into the parochial schools after school desegregation there.
During the 1970s many remaining...
(The entire section is 874 words.)
Open-Admissions Policies in Higher Education
College for All?
During the late 1960s and the 1970s, many colleges and universities experimented with an open-admissions policy—one that would allow any high-school graduate to matriculate. Although many state universities in the Midwest and in California had for generations accepted all applicants from within a given state, applicants generally faced stiff entrance requirements. Open admissions in the 1970s was different. The primary goal of these programs was to increase minority enrollment, to provide equity in education to that segment of the population which had been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. One of the most ambitious programs was undertaken by the City University of New York (CUNY) system, which offered free tuition, changes in grading and coursework, and remedial and compensatory services in 1970 to any secondary-school graduate who enrolled. Fully one-fourth of the thirty-five-thousand-member class of 1970 previously would not have been admitted due to academic deficiencies. Timothy Healy, CUNY vice-chancellor for academic affairs, explained the shift in policy: "The university can short-circuit the terrible rhythm of disappointment and rage that locks our inner-city youth out of careers, robs them of a stake in our city, and can create a new race of barbarians more terrible than the Goths and the Vandals." Healy promised in 1970 that the CUNY system...
(The entire section is 938 words.)
Minority-Admissions Policies: Before and After Bakke
Many universities, graduate schools, and professional schools established special minority-admissions programs during the 1970s to assure equal opportunities to students who were either economically or educationally disadvantaged. Even in
Image Pop-UpA 1978 demonstration protesting the Bakke decision
The University of California, Davis.
When a new medical school opened at the Davis campus of the University of California system in 1968, the minority population of that state was 23 percent, yet no black, Mexican-American or Native American student was admitted into the entering class (three Asian students were admitted). After 1971, however, a special-admissions program set aside sixteen...
(The entire section is 593 words.)
Progress for Women in Education
Women and Education.
When Harvard president Nathan Pusey realized the Vietnam draft would reduce the numbers of young men applying to graduate schools, he said, "We shall be left with the blind, the lame and the women." Although Pusey was speaking tongue-in-cheek, his comments reflected much of the reality of women's status in the field of education in 1970. At his institution there were no tenured women professors. At Yale, alumni responded positively to the administration's refusal to admit fifty more women, cheering when officials announced, "We are all for women, but Yale must produce a thousand male leaders every year." The January 1970 issue of the American Association of University Women's Journal reported that a majority of the three thousand men who had responded to a survey believed that a woman's first responsibility was to be a feminine companion and mother; that women had less need to achieve in the world than men; and that the job turnover rate and sick-leave rate of women was higher than that of men. The general rule about women in education at this time was "the higher, the fewer." Although women made up 67 percent of the educational workforce, they accounted for fewer than 16 percent of administration, including 0.6 percent of superintendents. In higher education fewer than 1 percent of presidents of colleges and universities were women. However, women in...
(The entire section is 895 words.)
Teacher Organizations and Politics in the 1970s
The NEA and the AFT.
In the 1970s two of the most powerful organizations for teachers, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), gained power and prominence as a result of the political turmoil surrounding federal funding of education. The AFT is a union affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which had a long history of militancy on behalf of its teacher members, most of whom were located in the Northeast. The NEA refers to itself as a professional organization, dominated by administrators, despite the fact that teachers comprised the bulk of the membership. A shift in power within the NEA occurred early in the decade when the AFT began to make inroads among the membership of the NEA, and the professional organization was moved to lobby more forcefully on behalf of its teacher-members in order to keep them in the fold. In 1973, in reaction to this shift in policy, the American Association of School Administrators loosened its ties with the NEA, and other management groups did likewise; and the NEA gained a distinctly antiadministrator bias. During the 1970s the NEA became the world's largest professional organization with 1.8 million members (including members through state affiliates); the AFT had around 450,000 members. The NEA had the larger budget, about $34.5 million; the AFT,...
(The entire section is 860 words.)
Black Educational Issues of the 1970s
Institutionalizing Black Activism.
Black activism on college campuses in the 1960s was widespread. Students demanded a voice in admissions and in curriculum. At San Francisco State a two-month protest demanding that all blacks who applied be admitted turned violent; student takeovers at Columbia and Cornell Universities emphasized student dissatisfaction with "racist" policies; at Brandeis blacks seized the computer and telephone switchboards to protest treatment of blacks on campus. These tactics worked. By the early 1970s black students and faculty, sometimes through channels, sometimes through violence, succeeded in institutionalizing many demands that had seemed out of reach just a decade earlier. Suddenly, universities were making long-term commitments to faculty recruited for burgeoning black-studies departments or courses. This institutionalization of black studies was met with controversy and heightened emotions, but the essential aims of most programs were similar: to act as a vehicle for changing the image of Afro-Americans (the preferred term at the time), to provide blacks with a psychological identity, to foster racial understanding, and to present a systematic study of black people and their accomplishments.
Establishing a Discipline.
Because so many colleges were hiring professors to set up programs for black studies,...
(The entire section is 712 words.)
Vocational and Community Colleges
The Metamorphosis of Community Colleges.
According to the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, by 1975 the community-college system boasted half the total enrollment in higher education. These dramatic numbers were due primarily to the infusion of adults, who flocked to area institutions offering two-year degrees, located in major population centers, and catering to working students. Many of these students were returnees to education who had been in the workplace and who therefore had specific vocational goals in mind. The Carnegie Commission reported that one-third of the community-college students were taking vocational courses, from advertising to wildlife management.
Flexible, Community-Oriented Programs.
Community colleges were able to tailor their programs to local community business and industry needs. Corning, New York, for example, boasted a special program in glassmaking, complementing the Corning glassworks nearby. An even closer tie with industry, however, was found at the General Motors Institute, the only community college designed, built, and operated by a major corporation. Located in Flint, Michigan, next to a Chevrolet plant, the college offered only two majors: electrical engineering and industrial administration, but these courses of study were augmented by numerous liberal-arts offerings in areas as diverse as...
(The entire section is 464 words.)
The Effects of 1960s Activism on the 1970s
A Decade of Ferment.
The social movements, political forces, and student activism that characterized the 1960s continued, and in some cases intensified in the 1970s, profoundly affecting American education. Antiwar protests led by students continued to disrupt campus life; political activism reshaped educational curricula; the counterculture transformed student lifestyles and interests. Social preoccupations outside the university restructured life within the university. Demands for educational relevance, diversity, and democracy filtered down from the colleges to local schools. Drugs moved from campus dorm-rooms to high-school bathrooms. As James Perkins, former Cornell president explained, "The university is the canary in the coal mine. It's the most sensitive barometer of social change." The seventies were the decade when the sixties permanently altered the nature of American education.
Kent State and After.
In 1970 student-led antiwar protests occurred in massive numbers and on an unprecedented scale. Although in the beginning of the year antiwar activism on college campuses had begun to wane, President Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia resulted in outraged student protests across the nation. To many, Nixon's violation of Cambodian neutrality made a mockery of his promises to end the war in Indochina and drove...
(The entire section is 1853 words.)
The Open Classroom, Open Schooling, and Informal Learning
The British Open-Classroom Model.
During the 1970s many early-childhood-education specialists were influenced by models found in some British infant schools (the equivalent of U.S. primary grades), particularly those in Leicestershire, England, where teachers had developed a type of open classroom in which children moved about with relative freedom. These schools were marked by little distinction between work and play, increased opportunities for children to learn from each other, and a decreased emphasis on didactic teaching. When many proponents established similar schools in this country, this philosophy of education came to be known as the "open classroom" or "informal schooling." The term implies that the activities of students will be determined, to a great extent, by their interests and needs, not by the teachers. The open-classroom approach suggests freedom of movement as well as an open philosophy that encourages students to seek answers in their own ways and to pursue individual interests. The concept replaces a front-and-center teacher and rows of desks with work areas, each devoted to different subjects. Prof. Lillian Weber of New York's City College, one of the foremost exponents of the British infant-school model, introduced the "open corridor" concept, an attempt to break away from the constricting presence of four walls and a closed door by making the corridors and all the...
(The entire section is 1285 words.)
Curricular Innovations: Stepping Forward, Then Stepping Back
The New Math.
Although the curricular movement which came to be known as new math began in the late 1960s, the reforms did not permeate most of the school systems until the 1970s, when the big textbook companies began to publish math materials based almost exclusively on this innovation. The creators of the new-math curriculum were opposed to the view that the main object of mathematics instruction was arithmetic proficiency. The new-math approach put theory before practice, with a great deal of exposure to sophisticated concepts such as set theory, number theory, and symbolic logic. The belief was that if theory came before practice, all math reasoning would fall into place, including computation. This purely intellectual approach was touted as being more fun than memorizing the "hows" of arithmetic. In 1973 Stanford professor Edward Begle, called the "father of new math," argued that computation was a mute point anyway, since "within five years, all calculations will be done on calculators." However, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics disagreed, suggesting that "No machine has been invented to tell you when to add, subtract, multiply or divide."
Rebellion Against New Math.
California schools had led the way in adapting the new-math programs, fully implementing the curriculum in 1969. However, when in 1973...
(The entire section is 1366 words.)
School-Financing Decisions from the Courts
A Startling Decision.
In August 1971 American public educators were startled by the California Supreme Court's decision in Serrano v. Priest, which declared that the financing of a child's public education may no longer depend on the wealth of the school district where that student lived. Instead, the court said, public schools may be funded only upon the basis of the wealth of the state as a whole. The assessed property valuation of a district was significant in public-school financing only insofar as it was part of the total state's valuation. Under Serrano there would be no more rich districts or poor districts. There would only be districts, entitled to fund an educational program at the same level, with the same local tax effort, as any other district. Part of the decision read, "An individual's life is surely affected more by his/her education than by his/her individual vote," and "the quality of a child's education depends upon the resources of his/her school district and ultimately upon the pocketbook of his/her parents." This reasoning was highly significant—it represented the culmination of years of hope for many school finance officers and people living in poor districts; but it confirmed the worst fears of taxpayers in rich districts who felt threatened by the need to share tax resources.
Serrano and Rodriquez....
(The entire section is 1230 words.)
Bloom, Benjamin S. 1913-
PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY
Teaching as a Science.
Bloom is perhaps best known for his Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain (1956), which had a powerful impact on attempts to reshape educational aims in the 1950s and 1960s. Bloom was a researcher whose primary interest was setting forth a hierarchical classification system for teacher objectives. He aimed to remake education into a more scientific endeavor, one in which teachers learned to organize materials and concepts into groups. Ideally, teachers could assist students in meeting clear-cut goals by having them complete objectives. Bloom defined these sets of objectives for teachers and suggested various tests to measure whether or not the desired learning had taken place at each level.
Cognitive and Affective Domains.
Bloom's first handbook classifies intellectual tasks into six different levels, and he posits that learners must proceed in an orderly progression through these levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The second handbook systematically classifies types of human reactions—feeling, attitudes, and emotions—and reduces them to behavioral equivalents of such feelings. This volume, Handbook II: Affective Domain (written in 1964 with...
(The entire section is 558 words.)
Coleman, James 1926-
SOCIOLOGIST AND GOVERNMENT CONSULTANT
A Chemist Turns to Schools.
Dr. James S. Coleman, a sociologist with a deep concern for a democratic, pluralistic society, had an early career as a chemical engineer with Eastman-Kodak Company in Rochester, New York, during the early 1950s. However, he became so fascinated with sociology and social problems that he decided to attend Columbia University, where he worked as a research associate with the Bureau of Applied Social Research while earning his doctorate. He first became involved in the study of schooling when, under the auspices of the United States Office of Education in 1957, he and his associates began a detailed sociological study of ten Illinois high schools. They examined both academic and social aspects of these schools, and from their research they published the research monograph, Social Climates in High Schools (1961), and two other academic books which were praised for their meticulous research and their objectivity.
Equality and Educational Opportunity.
Under the provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the U.S. commissioner...
(The entire section is 738 words.)
Freire, Paulo 1921-
Paulo Freire came to the United States as a highly controversial educator from Latin America, best-known for his development of methodology for teaching reading to illiterate peasants. Born in Brazil, Freire was imprisoned there in 1964 when a military junta, which objected in the strongest possible terms to Freire's teaching of Brazilian peasants, seized control of the country. Upon release he was urged to leave the country, and he did so, working for five years in Chile developing adult-literacy programs. He came to the United States as a fellow of the Center for Study of Development and Social Change at Harvard, where his theories were welcomed, especially in the changing political climate of the early 1970s.
Freire believes that becoming literate involves far more than learning to decode the written representations of a sound system; that it is, instead, truly an act of knowing through which a person is able to look critically at the culture which has shaped him and to move with reflection and positive action upon his world. Freire rejects the digestive concept of adult education or the belief that illiterates are undernourished, and he strongly objects to terms such as eradication of illiteracy. The "culture of silence" in which the...
(The entire section is 604 words.)
Holt, John 1923-
SCHOOL TEACHER AND EDUCATION CRITIC
Critic of the Status Quo.
John Holt rose to prominence in the 1970s as one of the nation's leading theorists on learning. His first two books, How Children Fail (1964) and How Children Learn (1967), set the tone for a great deal of the school criticism that followed in waves during the 1970s. In these books he laid bare much of what was destructive in the classroom, arguing that teachers and parents had become so habituated to teaching that rarely was there any effort made to comprehend how learning really takes place.
An Idealist and a Teacher.
Holt did not begin to write until he had had many years of experience teaching young children, and his most persistent theme is that the system ignores what it knows, or should know, about how children learn. "We like to say that we send children to school to teach them to think," he explains. "What we do, all too often, is to teach them to think badly, to give up a natural and powerful way of thinking in favor of a method that does not work well for them and that we rarely use ourselves." Holt believed that traditional schooling convinced most students that "where words or symbols or abstract thought are concerned, they cannot think at all."
(The entire section is 498 words.)
Jencks, Christopher 1936-
HARVARD CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF PUBLIC POLICY
A Voucher System.
In 1970 Christopher Jencks issued a report from the Harvard Harvard Center for the Study of Public; Policy Center for the Study of Public Policy that touched off a public debate on the feasibility of a type of voucher system for education. This report, principally authored by Jencks and funded by a grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity, suggested that people be permitted to purchase, with public funds, a private education. Because this plan struck at the foundation of the public-school structure, it was vehemently opposed by many groups. Several other slightly different voucher proposals were offered about the same time, the most notably by John Coons, William Clune, and Stephen Sugarman in their book Private Wealth and Public Education, also published in 1970. However, Jencks's suggestions were the ones that became synonymous in the public mind with vouchers.
Jencks caused an even greater stir with the publication of Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America. This book, the result of a three-year study funded by the Carnegie Corporation, came to conclusions that refuted one of the most pervasive U.S. beliefs: that good schooling brings good prospects for economic success. Jencks...
(The entire section is 437 words.)
Kozol, Jonathan 1936-
TEACHER AND EDUCATION CRITIC
"Unbounded and Compensatory Rage."
Jonathan Kozol, the son of a physician in the Boston suburbs, grew up in a "privileged and insulated" world. He came into contact with the less fortunate only on trips to drive his live in maid home to Roxbury, the black section of Boston, on her day off. Years later he realized "with a wave of shame and fear" that the maid's children, brought up by their grandmother, "had been denied the childhood and happiness and care" that had been given to him by their mother. He began teaching at an elementary school in the Roxbury area in 1964, fresh from studying at Harvard and Oxford and living in Paris. In teaching fourth grade he found "a world of suffering, of hopelessness and fear." His shame turned into, as he puts it, "unbounded and compensatory rage," which propelled Kozol toward a career in writing about ghetto schools, illiteracy, and the effects on children of a segregated education. His works garnered national attention, and Kozol's career has been devoted to developing workable alternative urban schools.
National Book Award.
Kozol's prominence in the world of educational criticism began in 1967, when his day-to-day account of life for teachers and students in ghetto schools was recognized as a National Book Award winner. Death at an Early...
(The entire section is 628 words.)
Marland, Sidney 1914-1992
U.S. COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION; PRESIDENT,
THE COLLEGE BOARD
Sidney Marland, Nixon's commissioner of education from 1970 to 1973, came to be known as "the father of career education." His term began at a time of violent turmoil in U.S. education: more than four hundred campuses were on strike or disrupted after the invasion of Cambodia in May 1970; students had been shot dead by the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio and by the police at Jackson State in Mississippi; and an army research center had been blown up on campus in Madison, Wisconsin. It was Marland's responsibility to assume federal command for U.S. schooling, and he focused attention on the element of education that could reach the widest nonradical audience—careerism. Job-training, wage-earning, the transition to adulthood, writing, and reading became the goals of the federal education bureaucracy.
Marland's Political Skills.
According to his memoirs, Career Education (1974), Marland was given a mandate by the Nixon administration to devote "immediate attention to increasing the place of Vocational education' …with no increase in the budget." The difficulties of achieving this goal with no money did not deter Marland, who quickly devised the name "career education" and planned the new program to relate...
(The entire section is 779 words.)
Silberman, Charles E. 1925-
JOURNALIST AND EDUCATION CRITIC
In 1970 journalist and scholar Charles Silberman published Crisis in the Classroom, a critique of U.S. education that seized the attention of his intended audience: "teachers and students, school board members and taxpayers, public officials and civic leaders, newspaper and magazine editors and readers, television directors and viewers, parents and children." This ambitious volume, subtitled The Remaking of American Education, was researched during a three-year period when Silberman was serving as director of the Carnegie Study of the Education of Educators, and it added considerable respectability to the criticisms that had been made previously by radicals and dissidents. Silberman's status as a Fortune editor and as an objective observer gave his inquiry weight that other critics lacked.
He begins the book with a status report on the state of U.S. education in the last third of the twentieth century: "In most large cities and a good many smaller ones the public schools are in disarray, torn apart by conflicts over integration, desegregation, decentralization, and community control.… In a good many placid cities, towns and suburbs, seemingly sheltered from racial conflict, schools have been closed by taxpayer revolts, teacher strikes, or...
(The entire section is 706 words.)
People in the News
In 1975 Jerald Bachman, of the University of Michigan, revealed results of a four-year study that suggested that high-school dropouts do not suffer financially or emotionally by quitting school before graduating.
Rutgers University sociologist Peter Berger said in a 1972 keynote address to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities that "counter culture values" among upper-middle-class students had turned some of the most prestigious universities into "vast identity workshops" where "intellectual rot" replaced a valid curriculum.
In 1972, after a Brooklyn teacher was assaulted in front of his class by the older brother of a pupil he had corrected, New York state representative John Bingham urged that the New York Board of Education provide every teacher with a silent electronic alarm device for protection.
In 1972 Harvard president Derek Bok defended special-admissions policies for minority candidates on NBC's Meet the Press.
In 1977 Catherine Burke became the first of a group of women to be named Rhodes Scholars but only after the British Parliament broke the terms of Cecil Rhodes's will that had bequeathed scholarships to males only. "I may be one of the first to go to Oxford," Burke said, "but I could also be the first one sent home."
(The entire section is 1676 words.)
NATIONAL TEACHER OF THE YEAR
1970: Johnnie T. Dennis—Physics and Math Walla Walla High School, Walla Walla, Washington
1971: Martha Stringfellow—First Grade Lewisville Elementary, Chester County, South Carolina
1972: James M. Rogers—American History and Black Studies Durham High School, Durham, North Carolina
1973: John A. Ensworth—Sixth Grade Kenwood School, Bend, Oregon
1974: Vivian Tom—Social Studies Lincoln High School, Yonkers, New York
1975: Roberta G. Heyer—Science Johanna Junior High School, Saint Paul, Minnesota
1976: Ruby Murchison—Social Studies Washington Drive Junior High School, Fayetteville, North Carolina
1977: Myrra L. Lee—Social Living Helix High School, La Mesa, California
1978: Elaine Barbour—Sixth Grade Coal Creek Elementary, Montrose, Colorado
1979: Marilyn W. Black—Elementary Art Bernice Ray School, Hanover, New Hampshire
(The entire section is 115 words.)
Jacob Bronowski, professor of mathematics and sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, leader in development of modern scientific humanism, 22 August 1974.
Oscar James Campbell, Jr., William Shakespeare scholar and author of the Readers' Encyclopedia of Shakespeare, 1 June 1970.
Horace Clayton, sociologist and author of Black Metropolis, a study of the place of blacks in U.S. industry, 25 January 1970.
Francis Cornell, North Carolina native who specialized in educational statistics and helped to shape the postwar educational system in West Germany, 2 July 1979.
Margaret Craighill, medical college dean and in 1943 the first woman to be commissioned directly into the Army Medical Corps, 25 July 1977.
Godfrey Dewey, son of Melvil Dewey of Dewey decimal system fame; the younger Dewey was a promoter of the phonetic spelling movement and the president of Emerson College, 20 October 1977.
Loren Eisley, anthropologist, educator, author; scientist who wrote with a poetic sensitivity, 10 July 1977.
Lloyd Fallers, American social anthropologist at the University of Chicago, 4 July 1974.
Maurice Freedman, visiting professor at Yale and Cornell, founder and...
(The entire section is 511 words.)
Ronald Bailey and Janet Saxe, Teaching Black: An Evaluation of Methods and Resources (Stanford University: Multi-Ethnic Education Resources Center, 1971);
J. Ben-David, American Higher Education (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972);
Steve Bhaerman and Joel Denker, No Particular Place to Go: The Making of a Free School (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972);
Caroline Bird, The Case Against College (New York: McKay, 1975);
J. Bremer and M. von Moschziske, The School Without Walls (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1971);
Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, Priorities for Action: Final Report (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972);
Ruth Dropkin and Arthur Tobeir, eds., Roots of Open Education in America (New York: City College Workshop Center for Open Education, 1970);
James Duggins, Teaching Reading for Human Values in High School (Boston: Merrill, 1972);
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy in Process: The Letters to Guinea-Bissau (New York: Seabury Press, 1978);
Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (New York: Herder & Herder, 1972);
Alvin Hertzberg and Edward Stone, Schools Are for Children: An American Approach to the Open...
(The entire section is 388 words.)
Important Events in Education, 1970–1979
- English, French, and social studies teachers are in surplus throughout the U.S.
- The Saint Louis School District adopts a twelve-month schedule for elementary school and junior high; students attend nine weeks, then take three weeks off.
- On February 8, Alabama Governor and 1968 presidential candidate of the American Independent Party, George Wallace urges southern governors to defy integration orders at a Birmingham rally; he vows to run for president again in 1972 if President Richard Nixon "doesn't do something about the mess our schools are in."
- On April 22, the first Earth Day celebration calls attention to the environmental dangers of pollutants. Two thousand college campuses host events and over ten thousand elementary and high-school students take part.
- On May 4, the Ohio National Guard kills four students and wounds eight at a Kent State University student rally protesting President Richard M. Nixon's decision to invade Cambodia, a country neighboring North and South Vietnam, through which runs the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
- On May 14, police fire into a student dorm at Jackson State College in Mississippi, killing a student and a local highschool senior, both of whom are African American.
- On May 25, Secretary of the Interior Walter J. Hickel sends a...
(The entire section is 2222 words.)