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American education, what comes home to roost in terms of national liabilities because of the fact that we neglect the education of millions of American children. Right down here are the educational slums of America [indicating), the places where we fail to provide the kind of educational opportunity that should be the birthright of every child living in America.

In the first place, the fact that these educational slums exist is a repudiation of one of the most sacred ideals of American life, the ideal of equal opportunity. I think if you gentlemen were asked : “What is the distinctive ideal of American life—why did the millions of people come from other parts of the world to America ?" you would say it was because it is a land of opportunity. Is it a land of opportunity so long as millions of American children are denied the first step toward opportunity, namely, the right to a fair education? I have some evidence on that from the 1940 census.

The 1940 census listed 3,000,000 adults with no schooling at all no formal schooling. Now, some of those, of course, were imported, but a good many of them were home-manufactured illiterate adults, and they have been showing up in the draft recently by the hundreds of thousands. There were 10,000,000 adults who were functionally illiterate, according to the 1940 census. By “functionally illiterate, we mean having less than the facility of a fourth-grade child; that is, inability to read easily and effectively, inability to write, and do all of the other things that a citizen or a soldier has to do well if he is to be an efficient citizen or soldier.

There were 2,000,000 children, according to the 1940 census, aged 6 to 15—remember, 6 to 15, an age when everyone agrees children should be in school there were 2,000,000 children enumerated by the 1940 census as in no school at all. Not in schools costing $100 a year or $200 or $300 a year per classroom, but 2,000,000 American children not in school at all.

Senator WALSH. What is the reason for that?

Dr. Norton. Mainly because the States that supply the larger proportions of children are unable to finance education adequately.

Senator Walsh. It is not due in any respect to lack of enforcement of the attendance laws?

Dr. NORTON. If all States enforced their attendance laws, an additional number of children would have been in school. The amount of money available to educate this larger number of children would probably have been less per child. So there would have been more children getting an inadequate education, but fewer children getting no educational opportunity at all.

Let us consider for a moment the Army draft. The slums of American education are having an effect on the draft. If you do not mind, I am going to be personal for just a moment. As a young man I went into the United States Army, at the age of 23, in the First World War. It happened that I was assigned to the job of classifying recruits that came into the Army camps. I was at Camp Taylor, Ky., and at several other Army camps where hundreds of thousands of men were examined.

I had the humiliating experience, as an American citizen, of not once but of many times lining up a group of men in company front, not only Negroes but also white men, some of the white companies made up of citizens whose families had lived in the United States four, five, and six generations, and saying to them: “All of you who cannot write a letter home or cannot read a newspaper, step forward," and I would see 80, 90, and sometimes 100 percent of a company step forward. We would take these men into the examining rooms and give them the most simple tests—those for kindergarten children before they learn to read and write. These men were completely and absolutely illiterate. Hundreds of thousands of them! That made an impression on me. I guess that is why I have given much of my research energies to this problem since then.

Now, we are having the same experience in relation to the Second World War. We have already rejected 5,000,000 men in IV-F. We are told by the men who are breaking down and analyzing those figures that among the important reasons for rejection are illiteracy, preventable surgical defects, defects that could have been corrected and, in fact, as some of the men are brought into the Army those defects are corrected—and other defects that adequate health and physical education could have prevented.

What does this mean in a world such as we have today? What does it mean in a world in which our very national existence depends not only upon having an efficient Army but depends upon having an efficient citizenry? I do not need to tell you that modern total war is a national undertaking; all citizens participate; all citizens dodge bombs; all citizens must either work efliciently or inefficiently; all citizens must understand what we are fighting for or not understand what we are fighting for.

The significance of the term “total war" is well known to you. Yet we are weakening ourselves at the very source, in the very seedbed of our power, by giving half of American children a miserably inadequate educational opportunity.

Senator WALSH. Doctor, do all these children come from States where the educational program is inadequate, or do they come from all the States of the Union?

Dr. Norton. They come from all of the States of the Union, but a much larger percentage of them come from the States in which the educational provision is inadequate.

Let me point out to you, finally, that there are other societies with which we are at death grips today, that understand the importance and power

of education. I witnessed the evil use of education in Japan in 1937. There is power in that country of small resources today, and one of the bases of its power is education.

I went through Germany at about the same time, and I saw every Germany youth getting what, in terms of their conception of education, was a first-rate opportunity-in order that they might conquer the world, to be sure.

Now, I wonder if we, in a democracy, do not need to look at the situation and say: "How can we, for our purposes, our democratic purposes, also use education so that every American youth will be prepared for the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship ?”

Gentlemen, I do not believe there is any question that will come before this Congress that is more important than this one here. It seems to me that you, as representatives of the people and as statesmen, will see the importance of it if you will just take the time. Remember, I have advocated no bill here today, no proposition. I have done as

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well as I could to present objective figures, the results of a national investigation of education. If

you will take the time to study these charts, or the longer report which I have cited, even though you merely glance through it, I think you will come to certain conclusions about what our duties are to the children of the Nation. I am willing to rest on the evidence in this respect.

I thank you very much for your attention.

Senator Hill. Doctor, while you speak of the duties, I wish you would emphasize a little bit what the figures of the Selective Service show. A surprisingly large number of men have to be rejected from service in our armed forces because of mental, physical, or moral deficiencies, is that not true?

Dr. NORTON. Yes; and educational deficiencies.

Senator HILL. I should have said "educational deficiencies.” The fact is that health deficiency and educational deficiency usually go hand in hand.

Dr. NORTON. That is right. In other words, there is no acceptable piecemeal approach to adequate educational opportunity for all. This is not only a National and State but a community problem. If we are going to have the nearest possible to 100 percent of our children intellectually, morally, and physically sound, we will have to look upon this as an over-all problem, in which not only education must do much better and must be better financed in order to do better, but the whole community will have to rally around. This is essential if all American children are to be able to realize the best that is in them intellectually, ethically, and physically.

Senator FULBRIGHT. You mentioned being in Japan. Do you have any ideas as to what Russia has done on education during the past 4 years ás compared with ourselves?

Dr. NORTON. Yes. One of the reasons why Russia was not so quickly defeated in this war

Senator ELLENDER (interposing). Quickly defeated ? It was not defeated at all.

Dr. Norton. You are right. Let me restate it. One of the reasons why Russia was not defeated quickly in this war is that in the last 10 or 20 years the Russians have made very effective use of education in their society. They have not only taken a people who were in the middle of feudalism and mostly illiterate and lifted them to relative literacy, given them vocational and technical training, but they have, from their way of looking at things, showed them what they were fighting for. In that fact I think we have the reason that predictions were repudiated by later events. Russia was not overrun in 6 weeks, or 6 months but, rather, withstood the shock of the world's greatest military power. The Russians have always been a brave people. They marched up in one war after another to be slaughtered by the millions. This is the first war in which they have gone into battle with a little intelligence and, fortunately, with a little technical training, because technical training, the ability to deal with machines, to deal with mathematics, is the very sine qua non of successful war today. If you do not have that back of you it does not matter how brave you are.

The braver you are, the faster you are killed.


So those people, whatever else you say about them, did have the wisdom and foresight to use education very effectively. I saw it being used.

Senator FULBRIGHT. In other words, do they manage their schools on a sectional basis, or is it a national concern?

Dr. NORTON. They see that every Russian child gets an educational opportunity. No Japanese child can be illiterate unless he is feebleminded, and then they will do the best they can with him. No German child escaped going to school. Every child was looked upon as he should be, as a resource. That is true in the case of some of these societies that used their resources in an attempt to conquer the world. We should look upon every child as a resource for helping the world and helping ourselves.

Senator FULBRIGHT. One more question. If we assume this Nation is to play a part in international society, is that not another reason why, if we are going to be competing with these other nations, we must adopt an efficient method of education?

Dr. NORTON. I think it is an additional reason; yes; because we do not fight wars or deal with the world as individual States or localities; we deal with such matters as a Nation. Let me give you one very dramatic fact.

We started out to raise an Army, a Navy, a Marine Corps, and Coast Guard of somewhere between 11,000,000 and 12,000,000 men. We now have approximately that many men under the colors. Now, it is a dramatic fact that there is a larger percentage of servicemen in those 11,000,000 to 12,000,000 from New York State, from Massachusetts, from Connecticut, from California, than there would have been if the Southern States had been able to maintain a good educational system. The Southern States, with poorly financed schools, and in some areas no schools at all, have turned up a much larger percentage of rejectees, IV-F's; illiterates and physical deficients. In order to get 12,000,000 men we have had to take them where they were. New York State, California, Illinois, and States like that have the larger percentage of physically competent and educationally competent youths. We have had to reject larger percentages of youths from States with inadequately maintained schools.

Senator FULBRIGHT. In that connection, those are the ones that will be killed in the greatest percentage, the ones that are best educated, leaving us with a larger percentage of illiterates. Is not that the result?

Dr. NORTON. That is the result. It is probable that more New York youths, more Connecticut, Massachusetts, and California youths, will be killed in this war than would have been true if we had had a reasonable minimum of educational opportunity everywhere.

Senator WALSH. Are youths rejected because they are illiterate?
Dr. NORTON. Yes.

Senator Walsh. I have seen, in camps that I have visited, a collection of illiterates being trained.

Dr. NORTON. There is some of that being done. Senator Walsh. I saw that being done at Parris Island in the Marines.

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Dr. NORTON. Yes. It is an expensive process in the amount it is costing, and it is a slow process to lift an illiterate adult to the place where he is efficient even in reading and writing. I do not think the Germans are willing to wait until we get that job done. The actual fact is, however, outside of the number you see in camps learning to read at Federal expense today, there are hundreds of thousands of illiterates who were just sent home. Illiteracy is sometimes also complicated by physical deficiency.

One of the important factors which has caused the rejection of 5,000,000 men is lack of educational opportunity. Various estimates have been made, and none of them can be exact, but it has been estimated that at least 2,000,000 of these 5,000,000 men rejected could, if they had had reasonable educational opportunity, have arrived at camp as assets to the military effort.

Two million men. I do not know how many men are involved in this current Russian offensive, but one figure I saw was a little over 2,000,000 men. We have rejected, because of our denial of educational opportunity, nearly enough men to put on this Russian offensive that is so crucial in the present struggle.

Are there any other questions?

Senator ELLENDER. Doctor, you made a most excellent witness. I wish every Member in Congress had heard your testimony. In your studies I presume you had in your mind a minimum goal for us to reach. In the bill we are considering section 2 provides for two kinds of appropriation-one, $200,000,000 a year, to be utilized during the emergency, and the other for $100,000,000 a year of a permanent nature. How close to the goal that you have in mind can the amount of money we now are asked to appropriate reach?

Dr. NORTON. If you do not mind, I will refer the detailed answer to that question to later witnesses. I merely will say this: It would provide a substantial first step, and what we need to do, instead of haggling over details and technicalities, is to take one honest and substantial step in the direction of giving every American child an opportunity, and this bill, I am convinced from studying it, would represent such a step

Senator ELLENDER. Have you any idea how much it would cost? I am sure the question will be asked on the Senate floor. From the fact that you have made a close study of this problem, I wonder if you would be able to tell us what is the amount per year that would have to be appropriated by Congress in order to meet the minimum goal that you have in mind.

Dr. Norton. Yes. Page 178 and following of the study cited earlier gives a table occupying some 8 or 10 pages which tells what it would cost to raise each of the school districts of the country from below any given figure up to that figure.

It would cost $315,000,000 to lift all school districts which are financing their classrooms at less than $1,600 a year up to that figure$315,000,000.

The table referred to tells how much it would cost to raise the classrooms below $100 up to $100. I think we carry it on to about $3,000 or $4,000. Naturally, the further you go the more the cost. But once again, whereas I want to answer your question, if I haven't done so I will come back to it-I think the important thing is not just how we

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