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So there is a general upgrading going on there, Senator Kennedy. I am encouraged by that.
On the other point that you made, I would simply say that with the local board control as it is and with the commitment that I am seeing all over the country, we are going to see more resources being spent in these subject areas, and I agree that we simply must strengthen our math and science instruction in these areas all the way along the line. The reason the administration bill targets where it does is the limited amount of money that was available for it. But I agree, Senator, with what I thought was the leading implication of the question, which is that there needs to be a general strengthening on all levels.
Senator KENNEDY. I would hope that we would see that in the bill we report. I have not seen much of an indication of this as yet. Mr. Secretary, if you take the number of slots that are open, for example, for math or science teachers in this country or take the number of elementary teachers who are not trained to teach math and science, it is really appalling.
Secretary BELL. It is. I agree.
Senator KENNEDY. I think we are going to need to provide opportunities for elementary and secondary teachers to upgrade their own skills in these areas. I think that there is an important role for the Federal Government in providing these opportunities.
Mr. Secretary, can you tell us what your request of OMB was in this particular program?
Secretary BELL. This program evolved in the midst of our negotiations, after I had already received my budget allowance. We started with an initial allowance of $9 billion, and with the help of the President we got it up to $13.2 billion. After that we began work on the math-science initiative. We began to describe what the problem was, and how we ought to be showing our concern for this.
When the president agreed to it, the requirement was that we work it out within the confines of the $13.2 billion. So that was the problem that I had at the time. That in my original budget under the budget allowance, I did not propose this. I was not free to be cause we were still debating whether or not we were going to go for a new math-science initiative.
There are those that argue that there ought not to be any Federal assistance at all. So you have to swim upstream against that. You have to get the President to agree with you that he will support a new Federal aid to education initiative. And I was grateful that the President was willing to support us on that.
Senator KENNEDY. Of course, if you look at this initiative, the concern that many of us have is that you are talking $50 million spread over 50 States and 15,000 school districts. That works out to only about $1 per student. I think one of the issues is the dimension of the program and the dimension of our commitment. Is it really going to be a program of significance, or are we going to find out in another year that we tried this program and not been effective. Therefore, we would abandon it because we did not invest sufficiently in it.
We have gone over that in the past. My concern is that it is just spread so thin, so little. We are really going to raise expectationsfalse expectations—that this country is really trying to do some thing about math and science. Yet we will not be doing anything. I think that that is a matter of concern.
Secretary BELL. My concern, Senator, as I indicated before you came in, is that the No. 1 problem, in my opinion-and I think most agree with this—is that we have a terrible shortage of math and science teachers.
And in spite of the fact that some other bills go up to $400 million, none of them reserve and target as much money as our $50 million bill targets on scholarships to produce additional teachers.
So I think whatever bill passes, I would hope that we would target more heavily in that area than we now do. What you need, especially in mathematics, is a capable teacher and the text in the classroom. And we need more targeting on that, or all of the bills can be spread so thin, even the $400 million bill if we do place greater emphasis on that problem.
You see, ours is focused only on a new—I realize that this is subject to criticism.
Senator KENNEDY. Yes.
Secretary BELL. But with limited money, we limited it to high school because that is where the shortage is and that is where the training is. You need to look at the high school population, and I suppose if you divided the 45 million students in the United States into the $400 million, you could shake your head and say, it is a pittance.
We have to concentrate and target our resources on the problem. And we have to recognize that this money is going to supplement and surely not supplant what State and local are doing in that regard.
Senator KENNEDY. Finally, I welcome the chance for the educators to make the judgment with regards to the education budget. I think all of us understand that budget restraints exist, but I would hope that the educators will be making the recommendations, rather than OMB.
I do not expect you to make a comment on this, but I hear there are certain allocations, and it is usually by OMB, rather than by the educators in our society who by training and tradition and by concern and conviction should be making those decisions.
That is always a matter of concern.
Secretary BELL. I just observe that from an initial allowance of $9 billion, the President supported me in getting a considerable increase. I appreciate that and surely want to give the President credit for it.
Senator KENNEDY. While, I am delighted that we are able to get some increase, I resent the fact that the OMB is making the decision with regards to these questions and that you are having to respond to that requirement.
If I could submit other questions, Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your indulgence and time.
Senator STAFFORD. Certainly, certainly.
Senator KENNEDY. I would just like to point out for Senator Denton-and I regret that my colleague is not here to hear this, that the Constitution says, "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity.
The first words in the Constitution are "establish justice.” And that includes social justice. That even comes before some of the other provisions. I think this committee has long been concerned about this and that education is extremely important in "establishing justice."
We welcome you, Secretary Bell.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you very much, Senator Kennedy. And Mr. Secretary, as always, you have helped the subcommittee. You are always welcome here. I think you know that. And we appreciate you having taken the time to be with us this morning.
Secretary BELL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator STAFFORD. The first panel that will join the committee this morning—and we would ask that they come to the witness table now—will be Mr. Willard McGuire, president, National Education Association; Mr. Albert Shanker, president, American Federation of Teachers; Dr. Patricia Graham, dean, graduate school of education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Senator KENNEDY. Mr. Chairman, I, too, would like to join in welcoming our panel here this morning. I think we are extremely fortunate to have this array of individuals to help us sort through this issue. I look forward to their testimony.
Senator STAFFORD. Thank you very much, Senator Kennedy. For the subcommittee, we welcome the panel this morning. We never have enough time here to do justice to the distinguished witnesses who join us and help us, and that seems to be true again this morning.
To try and stay on track, we do have that traffic signal system, which reminds me personally too much of driving in to work in the morning. But I am told it is timed for 4 minutes on the green, 1 on yellow, and then the 5 minutes has expired.
So we would ask you, if you can, to summarize your written statements. Your full written statements will be placed in the record as if read. And having said that, we would invite you to go ahead.
Mr. McGuire, do you want to go first? STATEMENTS OF WILLARD MCGUIRE, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL
EDUCATION ASSOCIATION; ALBERT SHANKER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS; AND PATRICIA ALBJERG GRAHAM, DEAN, GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE, MASS., ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION
Mr. McGUIRE. Thank you, Chairman Stafford and Senator Kennedy. I am Willard McGuire, president of the 1.7 million member National Education Association, which represents teachers, higher education faculty, and educational support personnel in all of the 50 States.
As a representative of nearly four-fifths of the Nation's public schoolteachers, and as a classroom teacher of math and Spanish, I appreciate and welcome this opportunity to comment on the legislation before this committee that is designed to improve instruction in math and science for our Nation's young.
We commend the chairman for holding these hearings on providing assistance from the Federal level to local schools and higher education institutions to develop an immediate response to science and math needs.
The problems and deficiencies in the area of math, science, and new technologies are growing to crisis proportion, and we owe it to our young people to respond now.
Today we stand at the crossroads. Public investment in education is being questioned at a time when studies have documented that scientific and technical learning, as well as communication in foreign language study in the United States have failed to keep pace with the phenomenal advances of the past two decades.
In fact, learning in these two areas has actually declined, and increasingly American youth across the land are not adequately prepared to take on the economic, technological, and national security challenges facing the Nation. In addition, there is a growing shortage of math and science teachers with chronic vacancies occurring in some areas.
Our concerns in this area are further documented in the appendix to this statement.
How should Congress deal with these problems? Three alternatives suggest the range of possibilities. First, the administration proposes taking $50 million out of chapter II Bloc Grant funds to establish a scholarship program for individuals who within 1 year's time could be qualified to teach math or science at the secondary level. This quick-fix approach merely puts a bandaid on the problem and ignores the need for better science and math instruction at the elementary level. And it provides no tools for planning and implementing a comprehensive program that will make all of education responsive to the total problem.
Second, the committee is considering S. 530, a far better approach that takes into account such additional areas as foreign language instruction, improved vocational education offerings, teacher training, and employment-based programs. And this bill authorizes $400 million a year for 3 years.
And third, there is the American Defense Education Act (ADEA] which is the most comprehensive program to address the two top priorities of the Nation today: economic recovery and national security.
ADEA provides incentives for local schools to improve the quality of education, especially in math and science, but also in foreign languages, communications skills, new technology, and to prepare students for employment, technical training, and for higher education.
How do teachers rate these bills? Mr. Chairman, the NEA has developed criteria attached to the appendix to my statement which provide an important evaluative framework for consideration of any math and science proposal coming before Congress. In this context, I would like to return to S. 530.
NEA criteria recommends that 95 percent of the funds be directed to the local education agency level. It is at the local level that the Nation's educational policy is administered and operated. And it is here that the need exists.
It is more cost effective to send funds directly to the local level than to channel them through a State bureaucracy. The 50-percent matching requirement in S. 530 would be a serious problem for the States which are experiencing extraordinary demands on their resources merely to provide the most basic services.
We believe strongly that a national problem of the dimensions we have outlined demands an adequate allocation of national resources. Funding called for in S. 530 and in the House-passed bill, H.R. 1310, is adequate for planning an initial program step, but not for a long range, comprehensive solution like the American Defense Education Act.
We understand and agree with the need for emergency programs, but believe that the depth and the scope of the issues before Congress today will require a long-term commitment of massive resources beginning at the federal level. NEA criteria call for administration of new legislation by the Department of Education which would coordinate programs in support of local efforts and initiatives.
Our criteria also specify that teachers working in close association with local school boards, business and labor leaders, and others interested in education develop and implement the best tailor-made, effective programs. We applaud the inclusion of a strong higher education component in S. 530, but recommend that the teacher training program in colleges and universities require joint consultation with local education agencies and teachers in the planning and implementation of the programs developed.
Several math-science bills now before Congress propose differential pay for teachers in these areas. NEA strongly opposes this approach as one that conveys a strong message to all teachers: that some subject areas are more important than others. After all, without reading and writing skills, no child can learn science and math. And this means, too, that education at the elementary school level must be taken into account in any initiative for improving math and science instruction.
We believe the answer is ADEA. And NEA members support the philosophy of the American Defense Education Act because it is a national program to meet the urgent national needs of improving instruction in math and science, communication skills, foreign language, guidance and counseling, in addition to reaffirming quality of access to education for all, it reinforces the concepts on which the Federal role in education has been built since the early years of the Nation.
ADEA establishes participation requirements for local school districts which choose voluntary participation in the program, and these include an assessment of both instruction and achievement in the elementary and secondary schools in the critical subjects, development of overall goals to prepare students for employment, technical training, higher education, and citizenship, including service in the Nation's defense.
And to measure the progress of the programs with ADEA assistance, local school districts will establish yearly evaluation systems developed with participation of the school board, administrators,