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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, May 10, 1953, Image 28

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THE SUNDAY STAR, Washington, D. C.
SUNDAY. BUT 10. 1063
(Continued Prom Page A-25.)
will challenge the law in the
Supreme Court. They question
whether the Federal Govern
ment has the legal right to
give actual ownership—as op
posed to developmental rights
—to the States.
Senator from Wisconsin.
Mr. McCarthy, put in about as
hard a workweek as anybody
on Capitol Hill. Here were his
major accomplishments:
• Listened to representatives
of the State, Defense and Agri
culture Departments and the
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Review of The Week
Mutual Security Agency and
General Services Administra
tion testify that not all trade
should be cut off between the
West and Communist coun
tries Trade in certain small
items is more advantageous to
us than to the Reds, they said.
The Senator angrily closed the
hearing and directed the men
to go back and make another
check on their departments’
• Heard Theodore Kaghan, a
deputy director of information
under the German high com
missioner, deny that he had
ever been a Communist or that
plays he had written as a youth
reflected his opinions as an
• Closed his investigation of
the United States Information
Service libraries abroad. He
announced that 30,000 to 40.-
000 books by 250 pro-Commu
nist authors had been round,
and he invited former Secretary
of State Dean Acheson to ex
plain how the books got there
in the first place.
• Released testimony of James
A. Wechsler, editor of the New
York Post, which had been
taken at a closed hearing. The
transcript showed that the
Senator was little interested in
Mr. Wechsler’s book, which
Senator McCarthy said was in
an American overseas library.
Senator McCarthy was inter
ested in the editorial policy of
Mr. Wechsler’s paper. Mr.
Wechsler said that as a mem
ber of the Young Communist
League he had written two
Communist-line books, but
that as a reformed, militant
ex-Communist, he had written
two anti-Communist books.
(The Senator’s subcommittee
did not say which Wechsler
book was in which library.)
The Senator concluded that
the anti-Communist books
and Mr. Wechsler's anti-Com
munist stands in the New York
Post could be just a clever
cover-up for a confirmed Com
• Assigned Harvey Matusow,
former Communist, to compile
a list of all Communist writers
who have been active in the
New York area.
FOUR DAYS after Joel T.
Broyhill attained his 13th
birthday, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt was elected Presi
dent of the United States. Since
then it has been quite gener
ally popular to blame the Dem
ocrats for everything untoward
that has happened in the coun
Mr. Broyhill, now 33 and a
Republican representative from
the suburban 10th district of
Virginia, last week showed that
the old customs were still good
enough for him. He blamed
the Democrats for a business
recession in the Washington
His reasoning was that busi
ness has slumped because a
large number of Federal em
ployes have lost their jobs in
the last few months. Lest any
one get the idea that the Re
publican administration was
responsible for reductions-iri
force of this kind, Mr. Broy
hill gave Congress a fresh-look
at the situation.
Lame-duck bureaucrats of
the New Deal-Fair Deal per
suasion, he said, have resorted
to meat-ax tactics to embarass
the Eisenhower administration.
He asked an investigation by
the House Civil Service Com
mittee of “indiscriminate fir
ing of career employes by de
partment heads in contradic
tion to statements made by
President Eisenhower that
such employes need not fear
losing their jobs.”
Thursday Assistant Secre
tary of the Interior Aandahl,
a Republican, flew in the face
of Mr. Broyhill’s logic with an
announcement that the Rec
lamation Bureau would be cut
10 per cent by June 30. The
economy move will affect 1,222
employes, including many in
Semi-Pros Invading Teacher Ranks
The current shortage of
qualified teachers appears to
be a matter of general knowl
edge on the part of our peo
ple. Newspaper and magazine
articles have focused attention
upon the fact that school en
rollments have increased more
rapidly than teachers have
been trained to accept new
teaching positions.
Not so much attention has
been diretced to the fact that
teacher shortage has given
rise to the employment of
many semiprofessionals who
cannot qualify for full certi
fication as teachers.
Certification of teachers is a
State function. Local school
districts may require some
thing more than State certifi
cation, but they should not
require anything less than the
standard established by the
An Exception Hip re
In the matter of the certifi
cation of teachers —as in some
other matters—the District of
Columbia functions as a State.
There is this exception: The
District of Columbia school
system does not issue actual
certificates. A list of those
persons who are “certified” is
maintained by the chief ex
aminers. Most of the States
actually issue printed or typed
certificates which are duly
signed and sealed. They are
legal documents which fre
quently are framed and dis
played with a certain degree
of professional pride.
When teaching positions
cannot be filled because fully
certified applicants are not
available, people with sub
standard preparation and cer
tification must be secured for
the vacancies which exist.
Thus, semiprofessionals are in
charge of the school work now
By Samuel Engle Burr, Jr.
Department of Education, American University
being done by thousands of
American school children.
There are various types of
semipros in education. Both
men and women may fall into
the category.
Recently, a pleasant, good
looking young man sat beside
my desk. -“l’d like to know
how to get a temporary certi
ficate as a teacher,” he said.
“What is the least amount of
work that I must do in your
“Why a temporary certifi
cate?” I inquired. “Why not
do the job in the proper way
and qualify for a standard
"Oh, I don’t want to teach
all my life,” he replied. “I just
want to teach for a few years,
while I’m studying law in eve
ning classes. I want to be
come a lawyer.”
On another day, another
young man sat in the office
“I may not get through the
seminary and be ordained as
a minister.” he told me. “So I
figure I’d better take some of
your education courses.”
On a different occasion,
there was a telephone call.
“I’m Mrs. Smith.” the lady
said, in a quiet, well-modulated
voice. “Some years ago, I was
a teacher in an elementary
school. Since then I’ve been
married and have raised three
children. Now they have
grown up and gone away from
home. I’m lonely here, all
alone, every day, so I think I’ll
go back to teaching again.”
“Do you have a college de
gree?” I inquired.
“Oh, no! I went to a two
year normal school. That was
all we needed when I was
“Almost every one expects a
teacher to have a degree now,”
I explained. “Can you trans
fer your credits to us and do
two years of college work to
complete a degree program?”
“Oh, no! I wouldn’t want to
do that. I’d just like to take a
Saturday morning class and
brush up on what’s new. Then
I could start in a teaching po
sition next September.”
Getting Around the Law
A superintendent of schools
from a border. State told me a
few days ago he cannot secure
enough certified teachers to fill
his vacancies for next Septem
ber. “We’ll hire some of our
high school graduates to take
care of certain elementary
school classes,” he said. These
young people aren’t hired as
teachers, which would be il
legal. They will be hired as
“assistants.” Eighty children
will be assigned to each cer
tified teacher and each teacher
will have one of these “as
sistants.” They will have two
classrooms, next to one an
other. The teacher and the
assistant can trade places sev
eral times each day. Os course,
the teaching program will suf
fer. “But what elese can we
do?” the superintendent asks.
Recent increases in public
school enrollments are not
temporary but permanent
changes in school populations.
All of our pertinent statistics
indicate that the public school
enrollment in the United States
will not decline in the forsee
able future.
Some educators have predict
ed that movies, radio, television,
tape recordings- and other de
velopments in the general field
of communication will make
it possible for any teacher to
direct the learning activities of
more and more students. No
practical results of this sort
have been reported in our
schools up to this present date.
Such methods can and should
be used in schools, but they
should be used by the class
room teachers.
If semipros are to barred,
however, several steps should
be taken, and the sooner the
better for our public school
The most effective step would
be making the teaching pro
fession more attractive. On a
comparative basis, teaching
now ranks rather low in tangi
ble rewards. Young people
soon learn that they can look
forward to higher pay, less re
sponsibility and better work
ing conditions in other occupa
Classes Too Large
The rate of pay is not the
only item to be taken into ac
count when choosing a voca
tion. In some schools, the
classes are too large. Not only
do the pupils suffer when the
teachers are overloaded with
pupils the teachers suffer,
too. They have more papers to
mark, more records to keep,
more adjustments to make for
individual students, more par
ents to contact, more little odds'
and ends of work to accom
plish, day after day.
And class work is only a part
of the modem teacher’s job.
The extra-curricular program
or co-curricular program of
the schools has grown and ex
panded in all sorts of ways.
Club work, excursions, assem
bly programs, home-room pro
grams. sports, games, dra
matics, and a host of other
“extras” have to be planned,
directed, guided and super
vised. This means that the
teacher's job never comes to
an end—there always is some
lesson or some activity that
can profit by more time and
more attention.
In various communities,
teachers feel that they are un
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der constant surveillance by
someone. Many small commu
nities have their own self-ap
pointed Mrs. Grundys and Paul
Prys. On a higher level, cer
tain members of Congress have
conducted investigations in a
manner which has brought
charges of character assassina
tion from some teachers and
Many woman teachers have
given up their positions when
they have married. Indeed,
in many school districts, mar
riage was the greatest “sin”
which a woman teacher could
commit: The time should
come when marriage and
motherhood may be regarded
as assets for the woman
teacher, rather than liabil
On the positive side, if
teaching is to be made a more
attractive profession, it is sug
gested that, in addition to
higher pay, teachers should
receive better social recogni
tion, that teacher retirement
systems should be improved,
that teacher contracts should
include health and accident
insurance, and that summer
training and travel should be
provided for teachers at pub
lic expense. Without such
benefits, the competition pre
sented by other types of life
work is too severe.
If more young people are
attracted to teaching as a ca
reer. all of the States should
start to clamp down on the
issuing of provisional and sub
standard certificates. No pro
visional certificate ever should
be valid for more than a year.
In order to secure its renewal,
the individual should be re
quired to present proof of pro
fessional progress and growth.
Usually, such proof would con
sist of enrollment in evening,
Saturday or summer classes
in education, professional
reading or writing, travel un
der desirable conditions, or
community service of an ap
proved type. These require
ments should be raised annu
ally until the individuals to
whom they apply can qualify
for full and regular certifica
Better Teacher Training
Inherent in any plan de
signed to drive the semipros
out of education there must b#
a plan to bring further im
provement in our teacher
training institutions. Whether
provement in our teacher
colleges or departments of edu
cation within the universities,
they should receive more lib
eral financial support. Pro
fessors of education should
have adequate secretarial as
sistance so that their attention
can be directed to the business
of education rather than to
writing letters and keeping
records. Both professors and
students in education classes
should have travel allowances
adequate for them to attend
professional meetings and to
visit outstanding schools—
especially experimental and
demonstration schools. For the
students who wish to become
teachers, there should be more
scholarships and fellowships.
Any program of improve
ment, such as that which is
suggested in this article, will
require time and money. The
changes cannot be accom
plished overnight and they
cannot come about unless the
people are willing to pay for
While decisions are being
made and while new teachers
are being trained, we shall
have to be reasonably content
with the fact that the current
supply of well-trained and
properly certified teachers
must be supplemented by
thousands of others whosn
preparation is substandard and
who fall into the category of

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