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Making Up Our Minds

by Oscar R. Ewing, Federal Security Administrator


HEN THE Communist aggressors in- trapment, of terror, of the intellectual strait propaganda, make up your own mind; and

vaded the free territory of the Republic jacket, against the strategy of release, of this is a process infinitely more difficult of Korea on June 25, the whole confused inquiry, of skepticism, of intellectual and than the mere acceptance of the triple-talk of wilderness of international relations and of academic freedom, and of mature judgment. the totalitarian party line. Furthermore, conflicting ideologies came into focus. We

you must make up your mind—not once know now where we stand. We know some,

but again, and again, and again, as new

THIS STATEMENT is from an address at least, of the implications of what we have

made by Mr. Ewing at the banquet ses.

problems and new dilemmas confront you. done to resist totalitarian aggression. We

sion of the 33d annual convention of

We use many tools in making up our and the whole free world—have abruptly the American Federation of Teachers, minds. We use the press and radio and called a halt to the creeping inroads of those Detroit, Mich., August 23, 1950.

television and motion pictures and books. who would undermine, or subvert, or utterly

We use the common sense which God may destroy, the free way of life which means They want people to stop thinking, and to have given us. We use the everyday exso much to us.

start accepting. We want people to think perience of our everyday lives, and we check The events of the past few months, cli- for themselves, to think harder and better the larger problems against this practical maxing the long and tortured logic of his. than ever before, and by that means to yardstick. We use the talents and leadertory which has forced our country into reach joint decisions. Their idea is con- ship of our great men and women, our polileadership of the free world, place us formity, by force if necessary; our idea is ticians and philosophers and writers and squarely in the middle of the battle for free choice, influenced only by argument distinguished citizens in

every field. men's minds. The most fundamental dif- and knowledge.

But, of all influences, perhaps the most ference between ourselves and our oppo- It would be foolish to say that we will win profound and lasting is the influence of the nents, in this battle, is simply this: That this battle simply because our way is better

classroom teacher. The teacher, more than the totalitarians seek to capture men's than the totalitarian way. You have to any other person, molds the thinking of minds. We, on the other hand, seek to work hard to live the life of the democratic young people when they are most impresfree men's minds. It is the strategy of en- man. You have to face facts, see through sionable—and thereby fixes the patterns

for tomorrow's thinking. You cannot shirk this responsibility. I do not think you want to do so. Your job is not entrapment, but release—you are not trying to force young people into a rigid pattern, but just the reverse, for you are trying to show them how to use the wisdom and experience of the past to create new patterns of life and behavior.

We have always needed to do this, and we have always tried to do this. But we have reached a time when the need is greater than ever before. We are confronted by a Communist ideology which appeals even to a few Americans, and which appeals to very many people in other countries. Now that the United States is clearly the leader of the free world, it is incumbent on us that we show to ourselves and the whole world just what we mean by the democratic philosophy.

Let us start with the educators themselves. We believe in freedom of thought and for either brand of totalitarianism—whether You need more than this. You need the for higher education. We need to of the left or of the right. We know from tools with which to work. We turn out strengthen the leadership in the field of experience and the American Federation automobiles—and war weapons—in hand- education that is already provided by the of Teachers knows particularly well—that some, scientifically designed, spacious fac- Office of Education, a part of the Federal the closed mind of the doctrinaire dogma- tories. We spend much time, much thought, Security Agency. tist has no place in the American school. and much money, to improve the conditions We need to do these things within the

speech, and therefore we stand firmly for Arriving in Detroit, Mich., to address the annual convention of the American Federation of Teachers, Ameri

academic freedom in the schools and col. can Federation of Labor, on August 22, Federal Security Administrator Oscar R. Ewing is greeted by the wel

leges of the Nation. There is no place in coming committee. Left to right are: Mr. Ewing, Mrs. Harriet Pease, President, Empire State Federation of Teachers Unions, and Miss Etta Greenberg, New York City Local of the American Federation of Teachers.

the ranks of teachers and administrators


Making up America's mind does not mean under which the vast industrial production framework and philosophy of social prog. closing it. It means opening it to truth, of America is generated.

ress. Last week Congress passed the amendand subjecting all that comes before the bar Yet in our schoolhouses—the fountain. ments to the Social Security Act, greatly ex. of human judgment to the impartial, un- heads of ideas and knowledge in which we panding the coverage of the social security biased verdict of consistent logic and clear generate the citizenry of America—we have

program and bringing the benefits of social reason. It also means holding firmly to let the plant run down. At the very time insurance more closely in line with today's standards of value which alone make such when we expect education to do a bigger costs of living. I have no doubt that this judgment meaningful. It means the un- and better job than ever before, we our- tremendous forward step in social legislaremitting defense of freedom to think and selves are not doing as well by our schools tion will be signed by the President within to learn, and therefore to teach. It means as we have in the past. Twenty years ago the next day or two. [Editor's Note: Presthe relentless pursuit of truth for truth's the country invested three cents out of every ident Truman signed the new social secusake. And, above all in this time of crisis, dollar of national income in education. rity law on August 28, 1950). it means knowing clearly why our freedom This year, our investment in education has This too is part of the social program is better than tyranny, why the individual fallen well below two cents on the dollar. which the American people desire-more is more important than the state, why each We are short-changing our own children. and better education, more and better fam. child holds within him the future of the Over the next 10 years, we need to spend ily security, new and better ways of paying community, why the strength of democracy a billion dollars a year to improve our edu- the high costs of medical care, new and rests upon the basic human freedoms and cational facilities. This money will not better rules to govern the relations between human values.

come, to any large degree, from the Federal labor and industry, new and better ways to The Nation looks to you, as teachers, for

Treasury. It will have to come from the eliminate discrimination and to promote leadership in making these things clear to States, the counties, and the municipalities civil rights. You know the roster of needs every one of our children. But

in turn,

of the country. It will only come when the in America as well as I do, because these have a right to look to the Nation for sup- parents of America are aroused to the point are your needs as well as mine. You as port. Part of the community's responsibil where they are willing to pay the extra teachers and as a segment of organized ity to you is to see that the men and women pennies that will prevent their own children labor have fought hard and well for these on whom we depend for the teaching of out

from being short-changed in education. advances. children are paid enough to be able to speak

There are some who feel that we must of the fruits of American freedom in more Biggest Educational Job

stop working for this kind of progress bethan abstract terms.

You as teachers are now facing up to the cause of the international situation. CerThe low salaries which teachers receive biggest educational job of all—the job of tainly our primary effort must be on the in too many parts of the country are nothing educating the American public to its own strengthening of our country to meet whatless than scandalous. Here is the very pro needs in the schools. I recall that, some

ever demands

may be placed upon us. Nofession which is the foundation of all othet time ago, teachers were accused of running body who understands the difference beprofessions, the profession which carries a sinister lobby for education. If you as tween Democracy and Communism, bethe banner of democracy and knowledge

members of the American Federation of tween freedom and the police state, will and understanding. Why should this pro

Teachers insist upon your right to a more challenge this. What we must continue to fession, of all professions, be underprivi. adequate salary, if you insist on informing remember, however, is that our country is leged, underrated, and underpaid?

the community about the crying need for strong only if our people are strong-and We speak of the desperate shortage of more and better schools, if you insist on that our people are strong only if our educa. working teachers in America today. What expressing your views on the necessity to tion, our health, and our family security are incentive are we offering to young men and go forward in America-if you do those maintained and strengthened. There is no women to go into the profession? Man things, as you are doing, then you need not conflict here. There is merely the interplay does not live by the dollar bill, but neither pay any attention to the shrill cries of the of needs for the making of a powerful does he live very well without it. You

professional reactionaries. We need more America in a turbulent world. became working teachers, not because there lobbying like that in America.

In issuing its call for this year's annual were financial rewards offered to you, but We need Federal aid to education, so that convention, the American Federation of because you saw in the classroom a great children in every last corner of the United Labor, of which you are members, stressed opportunity to render service to the people States can have at least the minimum of edu- its insistence on the need to go forward, of America. Your reward, too often, is cational opportunity which all children de- constantly and unceasingly, in this hour of little more than your sense of personal satis- serve. We need a program of scholarships crisis. That is what we must do-go forfaction in a job well done. It seems to me and insured student loans, so that these ward-and the teachers of the United States that every one of us, as citizens, must do opportunities be continued right stand in the very forefront of the unconquereverything we can to add to this the addi- through the college years, for those stu- able American movement to build, to imtional satisfaction of adequate wages.

dents who could not otherwise afford to pay prove, to strengthen, and to conquer.


Community College Education-A National Need

by William R. Wood, Specialist in Junior Colleges and Lower Divisions
and Homer Kempfer, Specialist for General Adult and Post-High School Education


then on

HERE ARE NOW more than 1,800 twelfth grade, only about half (roughly one- few years, the total reaching a low point in

colleges and universities in America. fourth of the total age group) ever continue 1953 of about six and a quarter million. Why do we need a Nation-wide development their formal schooling. By providing free Then, according to predictions based upon of community colleges ?” So wonder many

So wonder many opportunities within commuting range of all Bureau of the Census estimates derived from laymen and some educators.

our academically ablest youth, the commu- the official number of live births recorded The reasons for further democratiza- nity college would make it possible for twice annually, there is a rapid climb upward. tion of our system of education are many as many of them as are now in college to In 1960 the total older youth population of and specific. In accepting the comprehen- develop their special abilities to the full. continental United States, unless some catassive concept of the community college as a In other words, thousands of our most tal- trophe overtakes us, is certain to be well composite program of educational oppor. ented

young men

and young women are now over seven and one-half million. From tunities and services for older youth and barred from the professions, and from top


pace is dizzy: in 1965 the total adults,' we assume a public undertaking of leadership of any sort, through no short- is nearly nine and a quarter million; 2 years immense scope. Reflected against the coming of their own. For this prospective later it is over ten and three-quarters milstandard of high-school graduation, almost college-transfer group alone, the entire cost

lion! The impact of these figures is star50 percent of the older youth of the coun

of establishing and maintaining community tling; yet, henceforth, all of our thinking try, ages 18-20, for example, are educa. college education throughout the country

about educational opportunities for older tionally underdeveloped. They are chiefly could well be justified.

youth must be adjusted to them. Certainly, elementary and secondary school drop-outs;

they accentuate the urgency impelling the some of them are functional illiterates. In Our Soaring Youth Population

establishment of community college educaour democratic society they constitute a very

tion on a Nation-wide scale.

How many older youth are there in Amergrave problem. Among young men and

ica today? How rapidly is that number inyoung women of this group delinquency and

The Job for the Community College crime incidence is at its highest. Among. creasing? The accompanying table tells

The over-all scope of the community col. them the rate of unemployment is greater the story. In 1950 we have about six and

lege concept is shown graphically in the than it is for any other age group in the

one-half million in the 18-20-year-old accompanying chart. The 4-year college labor force. They are society's neglected group, almost equally divided between and university group, for the most part fullstepchildren.

young men and young women.

There is a time students with employment incidental The life-adjustment difficulties of these slight drop-off in prospect during the next during the school year, represents those stueducationally underdeveloped older youth

dents whose programs of instruction are are of particular concern to the community Continental United States, estimated total concerned largely with liberal arts studies

population 18, 19, and 20 years of age college. These youth comprise too large a


and professional preparation. The projecsegment of our 18-20-year-old total popu

tion is based upon current enrollment perlation to be ignored indefinitely. Gen

centages in degree-granting colleges, unierally speaking, every one of them could

versities, and professional schools. The find further educational opportunity in a

remainder of the chart represents potential (1)


(5) properly developed local, public, tuition.

enrollment in the community college. We free community college, either on a part

2, 139,000 2,211,000 2, 232, 000 6, 582,000 may anticipate that about one-fourth of the

2, 067, 000 2, 136, 000 2, 208, 600 6,411,000 time or on a full-time basis. In serving

2,041,000 2,064, 000 2, 133, 000 6, 238, 000 total older youth population will be accom

2, 134, 0002, 038, 000 2,061, 000 6,233, 000 these young people well, the community

2, 178, 000 2,131, 000 2,035, 000' 6, 344, 000

modated in 4-year colleges and universities.

2,178,000 2, 175, OCO 2, 128, 0006, 481, 000 college can serve the Nation by contributing

2, 269,000 2,176,000 2, 172, 000 6,616, 000

The community college will draw its en

2, 309,000 2, 266, 0002, 173, 000 6, 747, OCO significantly to a general improvement in

2, 309,000 2, 307, 000 2, 263, OCO 6,878, 000

rollment largely from the other three.

2, 460,000 2,306,000 2, 303, 000 7,069, 000 their civic competence, productive capacity,

2, 647, 000 2, 457, 0002, 303, 000 7, 407, 000

fourths. If adequate facilities and suitable

2,974, 000 2,644,000 2, 454,000 8,072, 000 and personal satisfaction in living.

programs of instruction are made available, Of the fifty-odd percent of our older

3, 288, 0002, 749,000 2, 826, 000 8. 863, 000 a majority of the total older youth popula.

3, 685,000 3, 285, 0002, 746, 000 9,716,000 youth population who do complete the

tion may be expected to enroll in programs 3, 566, 000 3, 517,000 3, 679, 000 10, 762, 000 3, 435, 000, 3, 563, 000 3, 514, 000 10,512, 000

of general and occupational education of * See Kempfer, Homer, and Wood, Wm. R. The Community

both transfer and nontransfer types. A College--A Challenging Concept for You. School Life, June I In 1947 a total of 3,699,940 live births were recorded-an all-time high. Source: Bureau of the Census.

large number of these students would be



Total 18





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2,832, 000 2,971, 000 2,611, 000. 8, 444, 000
2, 752, 000 2, 829, 000 2,968, 000 8, 549, 000

3, 520,000 3,682, 000 3,282, 000 10, 184, 000


enrolled on a full-time basis with part-time further education. This number is greater in living, and in strengthening family and employment an integral part of their total than the total enrollment of all other parts community life, thus contributing to a genlearning experience. Of necessity, pro- of our educational system from nursery eral improvement of conditions in our de. grams of instruction would be varied. school through graduate school. Many mocracy. There would need to be all types of work. more have educational needs of which they Some of these tasks or subdivisions of study arrangements, including local, State, may be unaware—often in such fields as tasks require adjustment and education only regional, or national conservation camp health and citizenship. The total number for short periods. The bulk of the learning projects.

of adults and employed older youth to be and adjustment incident to starting a famIt is customary to consider older youth, served in any community will be limited ily, establishing satisfactory living arrangeespecially those who are to become essen- largely by the resources available for serv- ments at a given period in life, or getting tially full-time students for one or more ing them and by the vision of community started in a particular occupation or upgradyears, as the core of the community college leaders in setting up suitable programs. ing or changing occupations may be conconcept. Much larger numerically, how. The scope of educational needs of the centrated into a few weeks or months. ever, is the adult and employed older youth large adult group, the “developmental Other tasks may cover years.

In the fields group, representing students primarily on a tasks” 2 of maturity, are suggested, also, on of citizenship, leisure-time activities, and part-time basis. Most of these are engaged the chart, “The Job for the Community Col. health, for example, adjustments are conin homemaking, employed full time, or ac- lege.” These “tasks” provide high motiva- tinuous throughout life. tively seeking employment. In this cate- tion for learning. They represent periods Except in the case of occupational traingory might also be included the unemploy. during which the proper kind of education ing many adults often fail to recognize cer- . able and those beyond retirement age. can play a key role in helping individuals tain of these periods and tasks as requiring Based upon studies made by the American to achieve satisfactory personal adjustments education. Consequently they do not seek Institute of Public Opinion, it is estimated

specific educational assistance until specific

2 Adapted from R. J. Havighurst's Developmental Tasks that approximately 40 million adults desire and Education, University of Chicago Press, 1948.

programs are called to their attention.

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There is ample evidence to indicate, how- 3. A dynamic economy demands in- the Nation going to make for these groups ? ever, that whenever suitable educational op- creased educational opportunities for every. Late employment of youth is one of the portunities are provided in a community, one.—The possibility of a continued ex- most serious social problems of our times. adults taking advantage of them are able to panding economy in America rests upon We are not now making adequate use of the accomplish each "developmental task," to providing more education for more people. creative and productive potential of our make the necessary life adjustments, more Studies conducted under the sponsorship of older youth population. Large numbers of easily and satisfactorily.

the United States Chamber of Commerce young people who have passed the typical At present the public schools, the exten- have shown rather conclusively that educa. age for the completion of the twelfth grade sion divisions of colleges and universities, tion increases the productive and consum. are not needed as full-time workers in our the public libraries, the Extension Service ing capacity of people and that regardless economy. For these youth a combination of the United States Department of Agricul

of the abundance of natural resources, areas program of study and part-time work in ture, and other public agencies are able to of economic well-being definitely reflect a their own communities that will make it serve only a minor fraction of the adults high level of education. Education of possible for them gradually to assume full who want more education. For a great ma- everyone to the fullest extent possible is the employment status and adult obligations is jority of adults the community college could basis of national welfare.

highly desirable. provide continuing educational opportu

4. Technological change com pels every. Through continuous exploration and nities. One of the most important functions one to learn more.—New technological de study of jobs-for-youth possibilities, the loof the community college, then, is to provide velopments are rapidly changing the pat- cal community can contribute much toward a strong and comprehensive program of edu- terns of living of millions of Americans. As the solution of the older youth unemploy. cational opportunities and services for new equipment is perfected and installed, ment problem. In many instances, howadults. In so doing it makes a vital con- the unskilled are released from the work ever, it is not possible for a given locality tribution to the well-being of the Nation. which they are able to do. Either they must to carry all of the responsibility. There are

be retrained or accepted as a social burden. many communities of relatively low ecoUnderlying Economic and Social

New jobs are continuously being created, nomic status that have an excess of populaForces

however, for those who have competencies tion. A national effort is needed to alleThere are other impelling reasons why that are needed in the construction and viate such situations. Young people from community college education is a national maintenance of the new equipment and in overpopulated places should be given opneed.

the management of personnel. There is an portunities for work and study on State, re1. Living grows increasingly complex.- increasing number of employment oppor. gional, and national projects. Employment It is generally recognized that life is much tunities for

persons who
possess some edu-

alone does not solve the life-adjustment more complicated today than ever before cation beyond the twelfth grade but who problems of older youth. . in history. Consequently, everyone, if he

have not completed a 4-year college pro- 6. All may vote.-Under a government is to lead a satisfying and useful existence, gram. For every professionally trained of free people that guarantees every adult needs more education than formerly. person there is need for four or five


citizen the privilege of voting on issues of Each one of us has a role to play as a

of the technician or managerial type. common concern, “Who shall be educated?” citizen of the world as well as a citizen of There is growing recognition among em. is a futile question. ALL MUST BE. the United States and as a citizen of a local ployers and prospective employees that Upon this fundamental principle there can community. Perhaps education of all of technical skill alone is not enough. Com- be no compromise if the government of free the people for international living is the only petencies that grow out of a program of people is to endure and to prosper. There basis upon which world peace can be built. general education combined with occupa- is no other way that the individual worth This cannot be done at a single time but is tional training and part-time work experi- and dignity of every human being can be a matter for continuous study and applica- ence is accepted as more desirable. This recognized and guaranteed. tion on the part of every adult citizen combination, of course, increases the 7. Social mobility must be maintained.throughout his life.

amount of time that must be spent in school- The chance to move freely from one socio2. Education, continuous and lifelong, is ing and supports the conviction that a economic group to another has been a a necessity for the survival of democracy.- twelfth-grade education is no longer suf. powerful motivating force in American life. The community college provides a means of ficient for today's needs.

The hardening of class lines would ineviputting together in a purposeful way all ed- 5. The span of employable years of life tably endanger our way of living. The ucational experiences for older youth and is being reduced.-Technological changes democratization of education through the adults.

are definitely pushing upward the age at community college is probably our best Since there is every indication that edu- which young people can become gainfully means of combating undesirable tendencies cated people on the whole take better care employed. To get a job greater under- toward social stratification. of themselves and of each other than do the standing, adaptability, skill, and maturity Could existing 4-year institutions handle uneducated, it is held that continued educa. are needed than formerly. The going-to- the job that has been projected for the tion serves to reduce crime, dependency, and work age for a large segment of our older

a large segment of our older community college? The rapid growth in other negative burdens upon society. Pub. youth population has advanced from 16 or our older youth population, as indicated in lic education, available and accessible to 18 to 20 and beyond. If young people are the table shown above, will necessitate with. all of the people on a continuing basis not required as workers until they are 20 in the next dozen years, at least a 50-percent throughout life, is a necessity for the sur- or older, and if adults are encouraged to increase in higher educational facilities of vival of democracy.

retire not later than 60, what provision is existing types. This expansion would not

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