Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

teachers, parents, appropriate bargaining agents, business and industry, and the community at large.

During each fiscal year, school districts working with the ADEA program will be entitled to a basic payment of 2 percent of the average per pupil expenditure in the State. And those which can show substantial evidence that the program meets ADEA goals for the year will receive an additional 2-percent payment.

The summary and chart following the statement outline the basic program elements and estimated allocations to States during the first year of operation.

Mr. Chairman, at this time we urge that the assessment and needs analysis be commenced first. Further hearings and input can only assist in planning and implementation of an effective comprehensive program. NEA State affiliates are working with Governors in support of ADEA, and they would welcome the opportunity to offer their insights and recommendations to the committee.

We look forward to working further with the committee in the interest of developing a comprehensive, well financed program to attain the goal of better education to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing world.

Thank you.

[The prepared statement of Mr. McGuire follows:]

STATEMENT OF THE

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

aN

MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION LEGISLATION

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 fifty states.

As a representative of nearly four-fifths of the nation's public school

teachers, and as a classroom teacher of math and Spanish, I appreciate and

welcome this opportunity to comment on 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 assis

tance from the federal level to local schools and higher education insti

tutions to develop an immediate response to science and math needs.

The

problems and deficiencies in the areas 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 techni

cal leaming, as well as communication and foreign language study in the United States has failed to keep pace with the phenomenal advances in the past

two decades.

In fact, learning in these 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

block grant funds to establish a scholarship program for individuals who,

within a year's time could become qualified to teach math or science at the secondary level.

This "quick-fix" approach merely puts a band aid on the problem; it 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 employ

ment-based programs. This bill authorizes $400 million a year for three years.

Third, there is the American Defense Education Act (ADEA), which is the

most comprehensive program to address the two top priorities of this 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, communication skills, new technology,

and to prepare students for employment, technical training, and higher educa

tion.

How Teachers Rate the Bills

Mr. Chairman, NEA has developed criteria, attached in the appendix of

this statement, which provide an important evaluative framework for consid

eration of any math and science proposal before Congress.

In this context, I

would like to return to S. 530.

NEA criteria recommend that 95 percent of 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. The funding of

S. 530 and of the House-passed bill (HR 1310), is adequate for planning and

initial program steps but not for a long-range, comprehensive solution like

the American Defense Education Act. We understand and and agree with the need

for emergency programs, but believe the depth and scope of the issues before

Congress today will require

a

long term

commitment of massive re

sources-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 effort 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 at colleges and univer

sities require joint consultation with local education agencies and teachers in the planning and implementation of 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 same subject areas are more important than others.

After all, without reading and writing skills, no

child can learn science or math. This means, too, that education at the

elementary school level must be taken into

account in any initiative for

improving math and science instruction,

The Answer is ADEA

NEA members support the philosophy of the American Defense Education Act because it is a national program to meet the urgent national need of improving instruction in math, science, communication skills, foreign languages, and

guidance and counseling, in addition to reaffirming equality of access to

education for all--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. 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 citizen

ship, including service in the nation's defense.

To measure the progress of programs with ADEA assistance, local school

districts will establish yearly evaluation systems, developed with participation from the school board, administrators, teachers, parents, appropriate bargaining agents, business and industry, and the comunity at large.

During each fiscal year, school districts working with the ADEA program will be entitled to a basic payment of two percent of the average per-pupil

expenditure in the state, and those which can show substantial evidence that

the program meets the ADEA goals for the year will receive an additional two

percent payment. The summary and chart following this statement outline the

basic program elements and estimated allocations to states during the first

« AnteriorContinuar »