A Federal Case; 19
This is a federal case a weekly show that takes up an issue of government and takes a good look in Washington D.C. I Manziel producer for the national educational radio network. This week we're going to make a small federal case out of the concerns of a small branch of the federal government which as usual nobody has probably ever heard of. What you have heard are funds for education being denied by the president or you have heard of college students rioting calling the police pigs or being against poverty or racism or corruption and mostly the war. There's a 15 man board that meets occasionally in the Capitol that is vitally concerned with what the students are doing and with what the federal government is doing about them and about education in general. This board is called a National Advisory Council on
Education profession's development. We're going to hear its executive director Joseph Young on the role of his council and education. Two years ago Congress established the Council and gave it a sort of a unique role. Listen to Joseph Young explain what the original Act authorized. See that's what Section 5 0 2 of out of that that was write a variety of types of things to be done in the way of educational personnel. Development that would be carried out by the Office of Education as a result of Section A Bureau of Education personnel development was set up with the House of education which is a new entity within the office structure. Legislation was designed for for carrying out church activities that were going to be done with an isolated case but that didn't confine a council so the council Oh it's not an agency of AGW nor is even concerned exclusively with us so it's not a satellite out here
I don't know how to fit it in any kind of concept of government. So the council reports both to the executive and the legislative branches of government and it advises them both on what programs are going on and what should be promoted to get better teachers and a better system of education. Every year this council has produced a report on the state of this particular art this year a preliminary report appeared in October. It was not pleasant to read. In fact it was a depressing critique. Through and through of what has been done for education recently and the big message was very little and no leadership. This report said that the states who spent 38 percent more in the last two years on higher education. But the federal government at the same time is cutting back its funds. The report talked about the worsening climate in the schools. It scorned that cliche that is heard a great deal in government these days about waiting till the war is over to do
anything. And the report ended with an eloquent plea for leadership in some quarter if not the president than from Congress if not Congress then from the president. Joseph Young wrote that report. He's going to explain this council and that report in just a minute. You may notice that there's a faint rattling in the background. That's from a building they were constructing outside Mr. Young's window. Mr. Young himself sounds like a cross between a Boston Cannady and William F. Buckley Jr. with well especially with respect to my own interest in backgrounds and the possible reason why the council employed me to be its staff man and I am the only staff member at the present time of the council. Is it because of my long standing interest in matters of educational personnel but generally and I have found. Some 20 years ago I was executive secretary of the State Education Association which meant that I was concerned with play by 4000
teachers to represent their interests and yes the interest of education generally and primarily through working with the state legislature the other things and and from that time I've been pre-occupied I would say with the contribution of person out education and subsequently was on the staff and faculty at the Harvard School of Education where I continue this interest and was there primarily interest in the matter of recruiting outstanding person now for Harvard's master's and doctoral programs in the field of education. Now with respect to the second question of the council it was created by statute and June of 1968 seven as part of the education profession's Development Act and it's a council composed of 15 members appointed by the president and charged by the statute to review and evaluate
all of the federal programs that have anything to do with the training and development of educational person now. This includes personnel of from education personnel that would be and from the preschool right through teaching in the graduate school and include personnel that are teaching counseling and ministering and those were administrative and necessarily gets into a concern for the. Many federal agencies that are involved here they're not all of the arts education but the National Science Foundation the National downs for parts and humanities off's economic opportunity list is almost endless and I suspect that there's something in the neighborhood of about a half a million dollars now devoted to this general concern that as the training and development of educational personnel and this
council is required by statute to review that entire domain and to make a report to the president Congress annually about its findings and its recommendations. Really the evidence come from to start this kind of council. This really no effective education or legislative history to this particular section of the statute because the statute was passed quite rapidly and there were too many. It wasn't too long a history of hearings and one thing another. So now this aspect of things so I can't tell you why this particular Council was set up except that it is one of a number of councils and commissions set up by statute of by executive order created by various departments to to provide information and intelligence to the executive branch and the congressional branch to
enable them to carry out their oversight functions. The Congress at least to carry out its oversight functions with respect to the way these various statutes are implemented and to suggest ways by which they might create additional and new or revised public policy. Of course the numbers counsel the chairman is fresh Alliance has Q Who is a professor of education ministration at University of Texas and it's had a long experience with national affairs and education has been actively engaged in a number of commissions and councils sponsored by various government and private agencies. And then the other 14 people represent a wide diversity of orientation. They come from higher education from elementary and secondary and represent
almost every kind of different category in the education field you can imagine. For example one of the people is a doctor Marjorie Lerner who is a principal an elementary school in Chicago and a ghetto area of Khal mob or whose commission of education in New Jersey. Dr. Bernard Watson and his associates have been 10 and four of schools for planning and the City of Philadelphia as a president of a state university in Appalachian. Dr. Atran Dora there's a school board member too which brings another dimension a voice and a sense of the consumer. A very able person from my apartment. Alric on Mrs. Mary Reeky and this is representative of the kinds of people and the diversity that's represented by counsel along the highway when they're pointed at the pleasure of the president
which means that they they serve until. The president is wisdom which is to appoint somebody else. Who are these members going in by President Johnson. Yes they were in September of 1963 7 and there have been no changes there have been a couple of resignations for weeks for several reasons and they have been no new points have been made and now there's an expectation of new ministration will. Come up with some new appointments as is their prerogative under the statute to do how the members come to Washington occasionally meet. Yes he went four times a year typically here in Washington because we have followed the practice of inviting people from the various agencies to come in and. Give some background about the nature of the programs the kind of problems encountering and give an opportunity for the council to to ask further
questions about how these things are proceeding and what their recommendations are. So the question is kind of a natural place for the council to me I see huge stack of Congressional Records a great many reprints of various articles the thing is here is that the way it is that part of your task is executive director to keep very close watch on every single nominee will be relevant in this council. Yes because of the extraordinarily wide domain of consent this council has the developments in a way a new statute good debates on changes to existing statute going to Congress directly germane to the council's concerns not only because of the specific interest in in those statutes but also. What it reveals about the general direction of a policy with respect to education personality training education personality answer critical of these this
kind of input it is along with of mounds and mounds of other monographs and monthly publications and so forth all of which provide some of the grist for coming up with some kind of analysis of what's going on and and what should be the course of action the future. Does the council have any real power in the sense of getting some problems that it strongly advocates established. I say it's only power is it is the power of the mind and I think that should have an awful lot of clout its power is very much rooted it seems to me in the in the careful less insightful ness of its analysis of events bearing on on the training of educational personnel and the soundness and wisdom of its recommendations and I don't minimize that kind of power at all I think knowledge power is potent and I hope it's going to be increasingly potent.
Power of lore and the power of. And they could power in a lot of other kinds of power but it does have a very substantial power in the sense of making its recommendation the president and Congress which I think invite a kind of attention and concern that might not otherwise be the case. That was Joseph Young and what this council is all about. Now he discusses the report this council made this year to the president and the Congress. Every year you put out an annual report and your annual report and I think this year it seemed the general kind of report is the reason your report is so general because there is such an office a lack of leadership in educational programs. Well I think that the the reason it's general is it is partly because any group's concern for a particular aspect of education. It is ultimately anchored in that in the total picture. I mean it
is concerned have got to be seen in the total range of things and it's confining our concerns to personalities. If this body is concerned with personnel and other bodies concerned with curriculum only sees part of the picture and so that that's why the concern of the general level and and the general thrust and allocation of resources and concern about education generally are critical because nothing significant is going to be done in the way of advances in the quality and number of personnel unless it operates in a in a general context. But you're saying there. You seem to be saying all of us report that there is not much evidence of leadership. Well the council in this report developed out of a meeting of the Council in early October. And as a result of reviewing some of the events of the past several months and
noted certain trends both in terms of action and in terms of planning that indicated there seemed to be a lack of leadership and in moving ahead and this was evidenced by cutbacks. Initiated by the Congress and by the executive branch in an allocation of funds for these four existing programs and also on the basis of the council's examination of the plans are underway of the whole planning process that didn't seem to have the reach that was dictated and by the Times. But why I mean why why are disparity between between this between this fact of cutting back on education programs and the times needing more and more money for education do you
think. That's a complicated thing I think that there are certain obvious things they do. They're concerned about the resolution of the problem the war or the problem of inflation and things like that which are quite tangible. Yeah. Easy to see fact as a reason to to pin down all have their bearing on their set and particularly with reference to allocation of funds. One has got to take into account the factor of inflation that certainly has a bearing about their own are other factors to the question of the of the direction of things which cause it which is a different sort of input that is a question of of analyzing what is what are the present trends and the needs and and responding to these. To the degree that they need to be on the basis of such analysis. Both of these in both
these ways it seems to be a lack of leadership particularly a lot of lot of kind of thing. But it's sad that that our country as a whole is in a mood of cutting back of going slow getting out of Vietnam of turning inward a little bit of not moving ahead rapidly but of calming down quieting down slowing down a lot of ways. And if that's true to whatever extent our is your outlook hopeful. I mean do you really think that you're going to see a number of educational programs implemented with the kind you know with. The reversal of this comeback and why I think that the question the mood of the country and the extent to which leaders and not only political leaders but leaders in all sectors of society respond to that is I suppose very much a sort of philosophic kind of thing of how of how you view the function of leadership in a society like ours
a democratic society with the rapidity of change that's evident in American life and it is going to be courteous in Mark celebrated raid. Someone has got to look beyond the rim and beyond a moment and see what's in the future and that's partly what we have minds for and what what is essentially leadership is intellectual leadership increasingly to try to go through analyzing these trends and sort out what's desirable and undesirable and having taken having seen what desirable in the way of change the developing see what implications those changes have for us for the particular sector of society for which we are responsible and say it looks to us that this is the way things are going and should go and these are the kinds of actions that must be taken as an intelligent natural response to that. In your report here Council says that we sense a worsening climate in American schools and
colleges and he said it is a new and ugly cynicism an anti-intellectual ism that's affecting American education. What do you mean. Well I think that the some of this is the superficial in the sense or at least obvious more obvious that it's a vision probably not the right word obvious and that is the just sheer newspaper reports of things going on and in the schools that indicate a form of the category of violence or disruption and that sort of thing that there is another kind of thing which is I suppose I would personally like to put it under a category of the chaos of the mind. I think that people are very much concerned about the anarchy in the streets and I'm home alive. But I think this is a much more subtle thing
that's at issue now and much more dangerous thing from my point of view and that is the. Characterize it and if you don't mind I think that I don't need the fact that all of our social institutions all of the commitments we've made in a very fundamental level as well as the more superficial conventions that we've had here too in our society of the last few decades are on our being increasingly questioned and the young are young people. That goes right through 20s early 20s and in the school context up through graduate school are confronted with an increasing increasing bewilderment I think about. What what what fundamental values to adhere to and
they are and I think this is the kind of thing that sometimes this world event leads to what has been characterized in the report as an election anti-intellectual is something that is that the idea that the power of the mind to deal with these kinds of questions you don't see broad social questions or in terms of individual commitment to worthwhile values is this is increasingly difficult. It's leading to a sort of willy nilly attitude well nothing makes too much sense a sense of purposelessness and I think this is what the council is getting what she reports that I'm not a branch of government the executive legislative has taken the initiative in order to see that young people don't go into a direction of any intellectual ism or resort to that. Exactly and I think they're one of the problems is to sort out where what the function is appropriate and.
Feasible functions of government in this connection are your annual report came out for. I wonder what the reaction to it has been. Well this is a technique I just might stop us with this was not the airport this is a portion of the airport that the council felt moved to and to submit to the Congress of that time because of the urgency that was they felt was associated with us with the comments and recommendations they were making and was there any reaction to this march on the floor. Yes very substantial reaction from a variety of quarters. Some in the Congress and the various agencies concerned but also very much sure from the field of the really startling kind of response and a very encouraging one.
And there are many aspects of this that that are coaching that when you say the field the field meaning primarily teachers and officials and professors chancellors probably higher education so forth and. School board members of a very wide sort of reaction and ball quite taken with the with the force of the argument the kind of I guess if I were to make a general characterization response it was this is something that very definitely needed to be said and we're glad that a body of the stature of this council said it. This is. Striking I think because what it indicates is that there is a mood and sentiment out there throughout the nation that that is trying to give expression to certain things. And it seems to me that
what the council said. It was something that they wanted to say and would have said had they had the opportunity. You know all the way through Young's remarks there was this great faith he has in the power of the mind and the rational argument that faith means for example that he thinks his council is going to have a serious impact on the education appropriations of Congress. And on the policies of the president it means that he things the young people can be wooed into using their minds. It means that he sees our entire world getting wiser and more rational and better. He is an optimist and he may be right. But in some moods depending on whom you're talking to you may think he seems naive. Many good arguments for a lot of fine things from excellent sources have escaped to the government before. At this point Joseph Young talks about where he thinks some federal money might do the
most good in education the needs is so broad now that it's to establish priorities is extremely difficult. And I think that one of the most useful ways we could spend our bodies at the moment is is trying to identify those things that gold that are going on want education that seem to be the best. Of a given class of endeavor to make some kind of gross identification of these this is a difficult process I know that I'm talking about elementary and secondary and higher education to describe these adequately and to analyze and identify why they seem to be the best two to conduct this increase to the point where some of the ANA scenes that lead to this goodness this best address or whatever this best Innes or whatever
are of had contributed to this and then to see if we can. See if those conditions those aniseed those causal factors can be made more available to to the rest of the of the labors of those in that class of a Devore that's now going down not too much not enough to my satisfaction at least. There was a attempt in this direction and a very concrete example I could offer you in connection with Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act where which is has appropriation someone in excess of a billion dollars for the youngsters of low income families throughout the nation to improve the educational. The programs they have been within the last year or year and a half I guess started. They made an
attempt to identify some of the programs that are going on in the schools of the nation which seem to be the best to leave off defective and up and down it is a process by which they made this a dedication and gave a little description of some of these programs. Now I think that's in the right direction. Yet I don't think we can or should stop while we reflect on the advantages of these particular programs of what I think we've got to proceed on a broad front at the same time we do these other things. But and and the process of identification and more particularly description sensitive artistic description of what's going on in a humanistic as well as a social science and behavioral science sense I don't think was pursued nor was there any attempt to. To analyze what the aniseed know causal factors that led up to this I'm
not faulting this endeavor for this because this is a very difficult thing to do when it calls for substantial money to do it well. But I'm saying that less of the people who took the initiative in doing this both in the Congress sat in the bureaucracies and out of there and they all should occasion out the field because I think we're going to learn an awful lot from this kind of thing to guide us sensibly and how we should allocate our resources in the future. Now Joseph Young was very careful to explain to me that he is just a spokesman for the council as a whole. He has not been speaking as an individual particularly but you can see that he would like very much to see the government contribute in every way they can to the triumph of the mind. And what's most amazing about this executive director of the Advisory Council on Education profession's development is that he remains optimistic about his chances for success.
- A Federal Case
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- National Educational Radio Network
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- "A Federal Case" is a weekly program produced by the National Educational Radio Network which examines current political topics in the United States and Washington, D.C. Each episode features interviews with experts, members of the public, and lawmakers concerning a specific issue of government.
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Producing Organization: National Educational Radio Network
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-38-19 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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