Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

19

150ST XL

34058


04/93 53-005-00

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS

CLARENCE CANNON, Missouri, Chairman GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas

JOHN TABER, New York HARRY R. SHEPPARD, California

BEN F. JENSEN, Iowa ALBERT THOMAS, Texas

H. CARL ANDERSEN, Minnesota MICHAEL J. KIRWAN, Ohio

WALT HORAN, Washington JAMIE L. WHITTEN, Mississippi

IVOR D. FENTON, Pennsylvania GEORGE W. ANDREWS, Alabama

GERALD R. FORD, JR., Michigan JOHN J. ROONEY, New York

HAROLD C. OSTERTAG, New York J. VAUGHAN GARY, Virginia

FRANK T. BOW, Ohio JOHN E. FOGARTY, Rhode Island

CHARLES RAPER JONAS, North Carolina ROBERT L. F. SIKES, Florida

MELVIN R. LAIRD, Wisconsin OTTO E. PASSMAN, Louisiana

ELFORD A. CEDERBERG, Michigan SIDNEY R. YATES, Illinois

GLENARD P. LIPSCOMB, California FRED MARSHALL, Minnesota

JOHN J. RHODES, Arizona JOE L. EVINS, Tennessee

JOHN R. PILLION, New York JOHN F. SHELLEY, California

PHIL WEAVER, Nebraska EDWARD P. BOLAND, Massachusetts

WILLIAM E. MINSHALL, Ohio DON MAGNUSON, Washington

ROBERT H. MICHEL, Mlinois WILLIAM H. NATCHER, Kentucky

SILVIO O. CONTE, Massachusetts DANIEL J. FLOOD, Pennsylvania

WILLIAM H. MILLIKEN, JR., Pennsylvania
WINFIELD K. DENTON, Indiana

EARL WILSON, Indiana
TOM STEED, Oklahoma
HUGII Q. ALEXANDER, North Carolina
ALFRED E. SANTANGELO, New York
JOSEPH M. MONTOYA, New Mexico
GEORGE E. SHIPLEY, Illinois
JOHN M. SLACK, JR., West Virginia
DALE ALFORD, Arkansas
JOHN LESINSKI, Michigan
JOHN J. FLYNT, Georgia

KENNETH SPRANKLE, Clerk and Staff Director

[ocr errors]

PREFACE

Three years ago in 1959, the Committee on Appropriations asked Admiral Rickover to talk on Russian education which he had been studying for some time. This was just after he returned from his visit to Russia as a member of Vice President Nixon's party. The Report on Russia containing his testimony evoked a great deal of public interest and response. We had more requests for these hearings than for any hearings in the history of the committee. It was one of the six best sellers. It evoked both praise and criticism.

We have again asked Admiral Rickover to come before this committee to give us his ideas, this time on English education. He has immersed himself in this subject because he believes some of the procedures, practices, and devices the English have developed might prove of help to us. Like ourselves, the English want to keep educa

. tion decentralized. They, too, do not want a centralized, governmentcontrolled school system. In fact, the British Ministry of Education establishes no school, hires no teacher, prescribes no curriculum, awards no degree. Nevertheless, the English have been able to maintain uniform national scholastic standards in their decentrally managed state education system. This, to the admiral, is their great achievement and he feels that the procedures through which they accomplish this might be acceptable to this country.

He makes a strong case for his belief that we can learn from the English educational experience. He bolsters it by reminding us that we have in the past adopted and adapted much from England and found it good. Our system of justice, our common law, our parliamentary procedure, the safeguards with which we surround the individual to protect him against arbitrary authority—these and many other basic features of our way of life are not unlike basic features of the English way of life. There are enough similarities in English and American political and cultural institutions to give some relevance to the English system of education.

The Admiral brings out the rather striking parallelisms between England's educational problems a century ago and ours today. Her educational facilities at that time were neither adequate to the needs of her rapidly industrializing society nor competitive with education in countries that challenged England's military and political position. Like ourselves, England moves slowly, awaiting the formation of public consensus before radically changing established institutions; as with us today, her competitors were authoritarian countries that could order educational reform by government fiat and thus move ahead much faster. The English procrastinated and we are doing likewise. The admiral argues that we can profit as much by the mistakes England made a century ago as we can profit by the successful way in which she manages public education today.

He shows in detail how the English establish and maintain national standards. He puts the system before us so that we can observe how it works. Among several devices, he suggests that we might like to

[ocr errors]

III

1

examine and perhaps copy the way they make use of Government grants to bring about higher educational achievements. He thinks we should follow her example in setting our children a national scholastic goal by providing a variety of permissive national examinations leading to national accreditation of diplomas and degrees. What he has in mind is for Congress to set up a National Standards Committee, a small committee composed of eminent and scholarly persons, who would do two things:

They would keep the American people informed on the state of American education: Does it meet the needs of our times? Is it competitive with education in countries at similar levels of culture and technology with whom we compete economically, politically, or militarily? How do American children compare in academic knowledge with children in Europe or Russia, say at age 12, or 16, or 18; taking, of course, into consideration different ability levels. The Admiral thinks we need an unbiased, disinterested body of intelligent and well-educated people to keep us continually informed on these matters.

The committee would as its second assignment work out various examinations that could be taken by anyone who wished to do so; those who passed successfully would obtain accreditation from the committee. He thinks this would be particularly valuable for certification of teachers, who are unfortunately not as well qualified as we would wish them to be. The committee would in no way interfere with established institutions now granting various diplomas and degrees. It would simply set up a higher standard, offer it to anyone who wished to meet this standard, and accredit those who had successfully done so.

The Admiral believes that the English Certificate of Education examinations offer us a pattern. They are closer to our educational ideas than the maturity or baccalaureate examinations of the Continent. They are far more flexible, since they come at three levelswith a fourth to be added presently; each student can decide for himself how many subjects he wants to take and these will be noted on his certificate. They are of course entirely permissive. The manner in which the examinations are set up seems to him most suitable to our own needs. His proposed Standards Committee would do this cooperatively with schools, colleges, universities, and the existing private examining bodies.

He has given a detailed description of how the English set up their GCE examinations and how they evaluate or mark them. In his opinion they are an eminently fair yet searching means of testing a person's real knowledge and ability. Employers as well as higher educational institutions must be able to find out what an applicant has learned and how well he is able to apply what he has learned to the solution of unforeseen problems. Otherwise, they cannot decide intelligently and fairly whether to accept him,

We in the Congress are fully aware that in the world of today a nation's position is largely determined by the respect accorded its science and technology; preeminence in science and technology as in all cultural matters depends upon a good system of general education. Here quantity is no substitute for quality. A public school system must be open to all children, regardless of the affluence or social circumstances of their parents—this is fundamental to democ

racy. But it must also be qualitatively first rate. We know that over the past decades the custodial side has been overemphasized and the intellectual side neglected in American education. We know that our schools must raise their scholastic sights. But we are also conscious of the difficulty of giving Federal assistance in education where we have so long depended on local and State initiative.

The committee believes the admiral's comments will be of interest to the American people. The Nation's greatest resource as well as its most cherished treasure is our children. We want them to have the best possible preparation for life. The admiral urges that the best possible preparation a democratic school system can give them is to develop their innate mental capacities through challenging study programs. He pleads eloquently that our nonacademic children need basic education as much as do our abler children. He thinks we ought to set all of them definitive intellectual goals leading to nationally accepted academic rewards. This he feels is the best spur to intellectual effort we can provide.

That our children must be brought to higher intellectual levels is his deepest conviction. Our frontiers are now in the mind. We proved in the past that ordinary men and women were capable of superbly pioneering our uncharted continent; he wants us to prove that our children can be intellectual pioneers as well. But we adult Americans must set them the goal; we must provide the stimulus, the challenge, the atmosphere that will induce children to rise to the best that is in them. The Admiral is never at a loss for an appropriate quote. He calls for support of his program on Jefferson who said: “We must dream of an aristocracy of achievement arising out of a democracy of opportunity.”

The committee hopes the Admiral's remarks will stimulate a national debate on the question of whether there shall be set up an agency of some kind to provide permissive national standards by way of national examinations leading to national accreditation of diplomas and degrees.

CLARENCE CANNON, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »