1<I6 .961 ,JX 770 sue
ADTHOfi' , Marsee,. Stuart E. . - * . .
TITLE ' ihe-State'of Higher Edocation— 1976.
'INSTITUTION . , El Canino Coll,, Torrance, Calif.;
POB DATE ■ , Sep 76 » " '
EDRS PRICE MF'-iO.ea* flC-$1.67 Plus Postage.
DESCRIEIOR^ Deoocratic Values; ♦Educational 'Benefits; Educational
Opportunities; Higher Education; ♦Hegative* Attitudes;
• ♦Post Secondary Bduccttion; ♦Public Opinion; Social
Hotility;. Social Values
ABSTRACT . , " ' * I
* lax grading standards, declining test scores,
opposition to collective bargaining legislation; the *rend- toward
job-related majors, the end of the open adnissiccs policy at the- City
llnivers:^ty of New York — these and other issues recently appearing in
the nevs media reflect a.^loss of public confidence in the value of
' higher education. This loss of conlidei^ce constitutes a break vith
the most fundamental of American values, the fcel^^ef in the path of
upward mobility through education. ^Xcung people have been sold tlie
idea that the value of higher education- is principally an economic '
one.. They need an explanation of the true values. of the education
experience: higher intellectual development, occupational and
professional training, the d'^velbpaent' of research capability aAd
objective inquiry, and'. the cultivation of the questioning mind and a
breadth of spirit. Educators cannot be co'^mplacent as confidence^ in
universal education declln%sr~aiid access zo higher^education^
diminishes^ They must retain and regenerate their belief s- in their
ovn abilities as educators, and ^uard against weaknesses in the
profession that give legitimate cause to questions about its <
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7 ' ' ^ NATlONAt INSTITUTE 0^
Stuart Marsee JHE STATE OF HIGHER EDUCATION - 1975 .H,s jriTses/ PEPPo.
' ' '• ~ . . , OUCEO EX,frCTLY AS R ECElVEO 'FROM
) : ' ' • '. THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION ORIGIN.
•/ ■ ........ occniiorcc • ^ ' ATING IJ POINTS OF VIEW OR OPINIONS
TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES ^ QtIIADT F MaDCCC <• STateP 00 not -necessarily REPRE-
INFORMATION CENTER (ERfC) AND O 1 Urtr\ I Ui llrtnoCC SENT offici^lMational iNiTiTUTE OF
USERS-OF THE ERIC SYSTEM " r>' r- ' EDUCATION PO^IJION OR POLICY
President - El CAr4iNo College
■ Generally^ 'in my State of the College address^ I attempt -to ;
BRING FOCUS UPON THOSE E\(£NTS OR TRENDS— EITHER LOCAL^ STATE"
WIDE^ OR NATIONAL— THAT HAVE SIGNIFICANCE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION
AND^^ MORE SPECIFICALLY^ FOR El CaMINO CoLLEGE.
Today tfie- focus of my comments. will be on the too' often' stated
: attitude -that has prevailed during the past year. tl+at is^ .
Ti^T American youth is over-educated for the needs 'of today's
soci ETY , "^Also7 emphas I s m uTIbe^rected'^
AREAS OF PUBLIC CONCERN THAT. HAVE CAST ""SHADOWS UPON THE' '
EFFICACY OF HIGHER EDUCATION. • " .. ' ' .
In an ARTICLE APPEARING IN PaRENTs ' MAGA^mE^ JoHN GARDNER
stated: "When this ... nation was founded., there was a H6ly
Roman Emperor.- Venice, was a republic/ France was- ruled by a
KiHGj China by an emperor., Russia by an Jempress/ Japan by a >
SHOGUN," Great Britain was a monarchy., tempered by the barest
beginnings of democracy, All these REGir|Es~AND scdREs OF others—
^ 'HA^S'E PASSED INTO HISTORY. ThE ONLY GOVERNMENT AMONG TODAY'3
world powers that stands essentially unchanged is the federal .
Union put together in the.-1780;,s by thirteen state-s on the "east
■COAST o*F North America.'" • * . '
Why has-^he United' 'States survived these past -200 years wheiN aul
-OTHERS^AVE FADED /aWAY^ It HAS;^ SURVIVED LARGELY BECAUSE THE
AmEBLCAN' public A^P* PRIVATE' EDUtATION SYSTEM HAS FOSTERED THE
PRINCIPLE OF LEADERSHIP BASED* UPON ABILITY AND TALENT. RATHER*
THAN UPON^RANK AND FAMILY SfATUS, ThOMAS JeFFERSON CALLEE) FOR
THE EDUCATION' OF. /'youth AND TALENT" WITHOUT REGARD F^OR THEIR
SOCIAL. STATUS- AS "tHE KEYSTONE OF THE ARCH OF OUR GOVERNMENT."
■ ; " ■ ' ^ /
Benjamin Frankl;n v/rote that "nothing is more important for Yhe i'
PUBLIC WEAL THAN -to" FIRM AND TRAIN UP YOUTH IN WI^DOM*)\Na VIRTUE.."".
Even in our nation's beginning^ the belief was evident in the , ^
import;^nce c|f learning to a democratic society,
By signing the land-grant college legislation in 1862, Lincoln
.set Amej^ica 9N'"its course of higher education. Not only for the • .
^FEW BUT FOR THE MANY, WELDINGS AGRICULTURE, INDUSTRY, THE SCIENCES '
AND OTHER. SEGMENTS^J^^ DEVELOPING SOCIETY JNTO .A NtW >KINB-QF — —
HIGHER EDUCATION,' . v *• . '
' LQSS'^OF-'CQNIfinFNCF- TM THF mi LFGF • ' " - •
One of THE INSIDIOUS REALITIES OF>THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN THE WELL-
PUBLICIZED QUESTIONING AS TO, WHETH^THE BENEFITS.OF HIGHER EDUCATION
ARE NOT OUTWEIGHED' BY ITS CoItS AND. BURDEN^. SuCH R&ASONlhjG IS
*//T " f
LIKE SAYING, IF THE COST 'OF EDUCATION CONTINUES TO RISE, EDUCATIOH
WILL, SOON BECOME AS EXPENSI VS^ AS IGNORANCE."
Some of the doubts appear to Be well informed and well intentioned.
Others seem vindictive and prejudiced. Regardless of the nature
of the • skepticism, the impact on ^public confidence must not b^
^'gNORED. ; The ACADEMIC COMMUNITY HAS BEEN CHALLENGED TO CONTINUE
TO GAIN AND TO' HOLD THE PUBLIC'S CON'FIDENCE AS NEVER "BEFORE^ ' '
' ' . • " y . ' ' ^
, I HANfE; EXPRESSED MY CONCERN BEFORE THIS GROUP MANY TIMES REGARDING
THE '"shaky" fiscal POSITION' pF HIGHER EDUCATION. ' ThE MOST " . *
COMPREHENSIVE NATIONAL STUPY TO DATE HAS RECENTLY BEEN MADE BY *
If , THE Nevm Jersey, Commission ..ON Fi.NANfiN"G Post, SEcomRY Education.' /
JearLy 75% OF, ALL American. COLLEGES and universities (2^16^
^institutions) were surveyed AND EVAliuATED, ACCORDING TO 16 _ _
FINANCIA]. INEflCATORS,. EACH WAS GIVEN ONE • OF .FIVE RATINGS: HeALTHV^
^*Relatively Healthy^ -AvERAisEj Reutively Unhealthy and* Unhealthy*
The news is both|good and bad. .The bad news j,s that only 25% of*''
• the xolleges were found to be healthy^ and nearly half (^9! 2%)
V^ERE judged* EITHER UNHEALTHY OR RELATIVELY UNHEALTHY.' ' ' .
■ \ ,1 ■ - • ■
The" GOOD news is that T4«1E public' community COLLEGES ARE IN THE
. best" CONDITION ^ALMOST 70% IN THE HEALTHY CATEGORIES) f^OLLOWED BY
COLLEGES (only 11,7%). • . ' ;
At ALL Levels higher education needs positive support from every'
AVAILABLE AVENUE--M0ST OF ALlVrOM INFORMED PEOPLE SUCH AS YOURSELVES
Loss OF public faith in HI-GHER EDUCATION IS "NOTHING- SHORT OF A '
* " ♦ * _____
NATIONAL tragedy/' STATED AlAN PiFER.,_ PRESIDENT OF THE GaRNEGIE . <y
CORPORATjION OF NeW_Y0RK IN THE FOllND^kTION's 1975 Attti UAL REPORT. He
WENT 01^ TO STATE THAT IT STANDS TO REASON tliAT TpfiE INDEfrlNITE
EXPANSION OF jTHE NUMBERS OF DEGREES AWARDED ?THROUGHOUJ THE COUfjTJRY
WOULD SOGNER jOR LATER- BRJN8'A']5£CLINE* INf MONETARY VALUE OF THE
DEGREE. • ' ; . , i. ' " • v
Dr. Pifer says, one cannot blame young peopiIe for BELIEV-IN6*THAT '
the value 'of going* to college is principalli^ measured in economic'
* ~ I
TE.^Ms,- After all^, college attendance has often been sold to •
THEM ON THIS SELFISH AND TAWDRY. RATIONALE. , • '
♦ • I - •
Not- THAT- THERE SHOULDN'T BE A FINANCIAL ftSWARD FOR PERSONAL
INVESTMENT IN HI GJ^ER .EDUCATION- BUT^ RATHEfj^ WE HAVE FAILED TO
PROVIDE AN EXPLANATION OF THE TRUE VaIuE OF THE EDUCATION
EXPERIENCE TO YOUNG PEOPLE, ' - • i / • ■
' ' I -
Education functions imilude higher intellectual development^ '
OCCUPATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL TRAINING/THE DEVELOPMENT OF RE"- -
I ' • I ■>
SEARCH CAPABILITY AND OBJECTIVE INQUIRY m%j HOPEFULLY/ THE' ' .
'cultivation in students of 'the questioning ImINO AND A BREADTH
— ' ' I
OF SP.IRIT. These are the functicJns of higher .education that
; ^-^ ^ - \ I _ ■ ' .
HAVE MADE POSSIBLE THE CELEBRATIoj^l OF OUR BlCEWTENNIAL. ThESE
ARE THE CONCEPTS THAT MU ST' BE SU P
Tr I CENTENNIAL.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
Writing in the Harch 20^ 1975 issiiE- of the Saturday ^eview^
Fred M, Hechinger> a member of jUe editorial Iboard of the-
New- York Times and former education editor or that newspaper^
LORTED^ IFiV^IE ARE TO^HAVE.A'
•declared that America" is in a headlong retreat from its
commitment to education... This retreat oughp
PERTINENT ISSUE IN ANY EXAMINATION OF THE C0Us1tRY*'s CONDITION IN
TO BE THE Most ■
ITS Bicentennial year, At stake-^s nothing less THArl, the survival
0F„ American/Democracy," ■ i > • .-
• : 5
What are. and what have been, some of the issues t'hat have
caused' A FEELING (5F SKEPTI CI SM- ON THE PART OF THE- CITIZEN AS ONE
.•VIEWS EDUCATIDN? ' A REVIEW OF SOME OF THE; NE WS A[jTICLES WHrCH HWE
APPEARED DURING THeSt^ST YEAR WILL HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE ISSUES
THAT HAVE CAUSED, WORRY. " SOME OF THE CONCERNS ARE BEING- FACED ir^
•A VERY POSITIVE WAY BY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING" •
El CAmNo^ Colleg/. 'You can answer, as well as L where w.e'are •
IN RELATlb^lSHIP TO THE FOLLOWING I SSUES HI GHLIGHTE-D IN THE PRES§':
These quotations, which I am about to mention, are' taken' out of.
CONTEXT, BUT THE ISSUES ARE REAL AND THEY ARE WORTHY OF XIAREFUL
CONSIDERATION BY EVERYONE IN THI S ^THEATER . ' ,
1. U. S. News and VIqrld Report— December 1,. 1975 Page 28 '
■"Move Underway to Toughen Grading in Nation's Colleges."
"A mjok ASSAULT IS BEING MOUNTED BY THE HATION's COLLEGES
AND UNIVERSITIES AGAINST LAXITY Xk GRADING TH'AT IS SHOWERING
' A''S AND B*'S" ON H^JNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ' UNDESERVING STUDENTS
"On one. CAT^PUS' after "ANOTflER, EDUCATORS ARE LOOKING FOR
WAYS OF sb FFEW I NG. STANDARDS OF CLASSROOM WORK. ReCENT
' 'experiments in playing down the importance of grades— -
including ith^. pass-fail idea— are being scuttled." "
"Staff members. . .going from campus to campus. . .found a wide-
spread DErlAND FOR HARD GRADING. SkJDENTS SAY. THEY WANT TO
- ' KNOW WKERE|THEY STAND IN SCHOOL— AND SO DO TU^IR PARENTS...
• GRADUATE stnOOLS NEED^RADES ^ SCREEN. . .APPLICANTS, AND
1- - ■ '» ,
THE BUSJNESS V^ORLD ... RELIES ON , GRADES IN, HIRING COLLEGE,
GRADUATES," " - . '
San Francisco Chronicle. ''Labo.1^ Toue .ciP Outlook fp.r
PuBi^ic Employees ^Rights Bill." August 26!,. 1975 - Page 8,
/'The political tides are runnTng^Reavily against legislation
giving public ef-tployees the right to collective bargaining
• • •
AND' STRIKES, STATE OFFICIALS TOLD AN'AFL-CIO CONFERENCE. .
•'"JhE PUBLIC must BE COWVINCfeD .THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING .
won't LEAD TO FURTHER INCREASES IN PROPERTY TAXEs/' ^
L-IEUTENANT G0V£RNOR FIeRVIW DyMALLY BLUNTLY, TOLD^ 250. LABOR
LEADERS, ^ °- " ■ ... ' ^ ' " ."■ " ' '
DyMALLY's OTHER d^ITIDISttHAS OF PUBLIC STATEMENTS BY UNION
•LEADERS AGAINST ATTEMPTS TO ELIMINATE OUTMODED GOVERNMENT
•AGENCIES THROUGH^ A' SO-CALLED "sUNSET LAVI."
"You HAVE TO END ' STATEMENTS THAT SOUND LIKE TAXPAYERS EXIST *
ONLY FOR THE BENEFIT DF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES/' HiE ADVISED;\ •"
3tate Senator Ralph Dills (DEf^TocRjAT^ Compton)^ a leading
SPONSOR OF. PUBLIC EMPLOYEES BARGAINING BILLSy CONCURRED THAT
THE PROSPECTS ARE GETTING WpRSE INSTEAD OF BETTER. '
. He CITED A TROUBLING COUNtER-TREND IN LOCAL- LAWS THAT REQUIRE
THE FIRING OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES THAT STRIKE^ THAT NULLI-FY ^ '
TERMS NEGOTIATED DURING STRIKES, ORTHAT REFER PAY AND. OTHER.'
ISSUES TO APPROVAL BY THE'vOTEKSi^ > • ^
Dills. ALSO warned the public employer union leaders that
THEY HAVE A STAKE IN COMB^ATT I NG "NO-GROWTH LEGISLATION WHICH^
IN STIFLING PUBLIC DEVELOPMENT^. WILL REDUCE' THE PEOPLE'S
ABILITY TO SUPPORT PUBLIC SERVICES. I HAVE SOME THOUGHTS. ON-
T;^IS SUBJECT TO BE SHARED WITH YOU AT "A LATB^ DATE'.- '
U;$. News AMD I-Iorld Report . December 15. 1§76'. "Courses
THAT Lead TO' Jo|Bs. Takin^j. Overton, Campus.'" . '
"Nassiv£^shift.S-->re taking place in the career choicesSf '
•COLLEGE. STLfDENTS— AND THE GUIDANCE THEY-^ARE GETTING, FROrt"
INSTITUTIONS OF.HIG^JER LEA'PNTNG;"
"C0URSES..Ui|..Bus'lNBSS, ENGINEERING AND AgrICULTUJ^E ARE •
BOOMING--AND STUDE_NT ^INTEREST IN TeACHER-TrAINIMG^ "BlACK •
•Studies and. Social' Studies are falling. off sharply." * ' •
Jhe American Ass6ci'Ation'of State Colleges indicates th^
FOLLOWING COURSES ARE- GAINING IN Po'^ULA-RI.TY--AcCOUNTI NG.
Agriculture., Business- AdNinistration, Economics, Engi-neering
Geology, Health and Medical Service^, Journalism, f^lwsic.
ANaART. Courses losing in popularity, are Black. Stud.ies,
Chemistry, Education, English, (^oreign^Languages, .Histo^y^
Literature, Mathematics and- Psychology^'--- ■ • -
National Observer, "Th^ Era oF i TmT.s." November -29, 1975
"The November- 29 Natjonal Observer features an interview
with California's Jerry Brovw under the heading. of "The^ '.
Era OF Limits." His comments oN-coNfifwii^G education
include:. "I THINK WE OOGHT TO IMPOSE USER FEES ON THOSE '
ABLE TO PAY IT, It's ONE THING. TO GIVE FREE EDUCATION TO ' ' .
PEOPLE FROM^l TO 25. if S- QUITE- ANOTHER TO SAY WE'LL
GIVE LIFELONG EDUCATION TO PEOPLE 25 TO 80 ON EVERY SUBJECT.
UNDER THE SUN."
U. S. ;News: S World Report . Those Dropping Test Scores--"
November 24,' 1975, Page 33. • ' ~ '
bCIENCE, MATH AND NOW WRITI^NG— IN EACH FIELD STUDENT SCORES
ARE, DOWN.. , A SEEMIMGLV* ENDLESS PROCESSION OF POOR SCORES
REPORTED BY .National TEsilrfG agencies is raising fresh " - •
,D0U3T^ ABOUT THE KIND -OF^ EDUCATION UNITED STATES YOUNGSTERS
ARE 'GETTING IN TODAY'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS. -
Time/ "Crossroads at CUNY" - December 29. 19^75 . ^- .
"In "RECENT; YEARS. . .City -College and the 19 other institutions
THAT MAKE UP THE TUITION-FREE ClTY 'Un-IVERsVtY 'OF NeW YoFiK
<CUNY) HAVE FOUND IT INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO KEEP -UP THEIR-*
sTAf^ARDSj* Reason:. A 1959 ruling that o^^ei^d t-he doors of /
THE univers;ty to any student holding 'A high school '^i'pl^a
FROM New York City's^ schqol system> which graduates Mny
functional illiterates "Last December the -New York Board of
H'igher Education' voffe0 to require CUNY /\pri-IC)\nts to rass an .
'^WTRANCE requirement— AN EIGHTH-GRADE' LEVEL 'iN BOTH READING
■ ' ' - - . *-
AND MATH . . „ ^ . ' , , '
Technically, the Board's action was taken "for econojMic
rather than academic reasons. over the n^xt four years
the new polrcy.will disqualify an estimated 10^000 students
PER' YEAR. SAVIM'G NeW YorK ABOUT $15 MILLION ANNUALLY. •. JhE
REACTION BY STUDENTS AND OTHERS WAS" FURJOUS. A "CUNY S0CI0LO~
GiST RELEASED A ^PORT- SHOWING THAT MOST OF THOSE BARRED WOULD
BE MINORITY". STUDENTS. 'AuTHOR ^ALFRED KaZEN. a PROFESSOR AT
CUNY's HiMTER College staied. "It is a. revolt against the
MASSES. . . , ■ . , / ,
"Another C'UMY graduate. Harvard Sociologist. Nathan Glazer^
said; "It^seems a highly reasonable notion that a college
fre'shman be able ■to rea« at^d write at the 'eighth-ferade level*"
CONCLUSIOi^l: * • - •
T-HERE ARE MANY FORCES AT WORK WHICH AFFECT PUBLIC HIGHER. EDUCATION
IN- America. There alwaVs have- been. It would appear this; is-nc
TIME FOR OUR COMPLACENCY REGARDING THE, IMPORTANCE OF THE PLACE OF
TilGHER EDUCATION- -IN, THE 'AmERICAN FUTURE. We CANNOT TOLERATE* A-
DECLINING CONFIDENCE IN .UNIVERSAL EDUCATION AND DIMl'NISHING ACCESS
T© HI.GHtR LEARNING. ■ We MUST BE VIGILANT-AGAINST WEAKNESSES IN
OUR PROFESSION THAT GIVE LEGITIMATE CAUSE TO' QUESTION OUR
PROFESSIONALISM. An EROSION IN THE PATH^OF. UPWARD 'MbBItlTY
CONSTITflTES A BREAK WITH THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL OF AMRICAN IDEALS,
It would be the end of th? op(>ORfgNiTY THAT V'/as enVisjjoned BY-
Thomas Jefferson* when he called for a new aristocracy of. talent '
TO REPLACE THE oLD ARISTOCRACY OF INHERITED POWER. ' ' - '
.. . ' . ■ ' J- ' '
We^MUST RETAIN AI^ID REGENERATE OUR BELIEFS IN OUR ABILITIES AS
•EDUCATORS,. E.VEN MORE IMPORTANT^ MUST CONJIt^UE TO PERFORM AT
SUCH A L€VEL THAT OUR PROFESSIONALISM IS. ABOVE REPROACH. .-ThE
incentive to do so i s, elemental: - to perpetuate american" - --^ '
democracy! • - ^
UNIVERSITY OF CALIF. ^ • ^
DEC 2 9 197/: ■
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