Education in an Extended Emergency

March 7, 1951

Report Outline
Educational Policy for the Long Pull
Role of Schools in Defense Training
Effects of Mobilization on Colleges
Aggravated Problems of Public School Systems

Educational Policy for the Long Pull

Disagreement among leading educators on the wisdom of drafting 18-year-olds reflects the general conviction that national policy is now being made not for a few years of intensive struggle but for a prolonged period of world tension and uncertainty. A conference of school authorities was told last September by a spokesman for the National Security Resources Board: “We may go through a decade or more as a garrison state. We may move into a long and very serious war, and even if such a war were successful, we would at that point be face to face with a world on the edge of chaos.”

Because the country may remain in a state of semi-mobilization for one, two or three decades, schoolmen are concerned not only with immediate effects of the draft on colleges and universities but also with long-term effects of the defense program on the whole educational system. The prospect of a long pull ahead distinguishes the present situation from that faced in 1940–41 when the country last began to prepare for war. Other differences add to the magnitude of both present and future problems in education.

Public schools are already hard pressed to find room for the children born in the 1940s—in larger number than in any previous decade of American history. Enrollments in elementary schools in 1950 were 1.8 million above 1940. Immediately ahead is the problem of providing facilities for the 3.7 million children born in the peak year 1947. Over 3.5 million babies have been added to the population in each subsequent year, and in 1950 there was an upturn in the marriage rate. High enrollments in the lower schools, added to shortages of teachers and buildings, have forced resort to split sessions and other curtailments on a scale not needed in World War II.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Dec. 02, 2011  Digital Education
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Apr. 27, 2007  Fixing Urban Schools Updated
Nov. 10, 2006  Video Games Updated
Mar. 03, 2006  AP and IB Programs
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Aug. 26, 2005  Evaluating Head Start
May 27, 2005  No Child Left Behind
Jan. 17, 2003  Home Schooling Debate
Sep. 06, 2002  Teaching Math and Science
Jun. 07, 2002  Grade Inflation
Dec. 07, 2001  Distance Learning
Apr. 20, 2001  Testing in Schools
May 14, 1999  National Education Standards
Apr. 10, 1998  Liberal Arts Education
Jul. 26, 1996  Attack on Public Schools
May 17, 1996  Year-Round Schools
Oct. 20, 1995  Networking the Classroom
Sep. 22, 1995  High School Sports
Jan. 20, 1995  Parents and Schools
Sep. 09, 1994  Home Schooling
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Nov. 30, 1990  Conflict Over Multicultural Education
Feb. 05, 1988  Preschool: Too Much Too Soon?
Oct. 23, 1987  Education Reform
Aug. 24, 1984  Status of the Schools
Sep. 10, 1982  Schoolbook Controversies
Sep. 03, 1982  Post-Sputnik Education
Aug. 18, 1978  Competency Tests
Jan. 26, 1972  Public School Financing
Nov. 03, 1971  Education for Jobs
Apr. 15, 1970  Reform of Public Schools
Aug. 27, 1969  Discipline in Public Schools
Dec. 27, 1968  Community Control of Public Schools
Jun. 14, 1965  Summer School Innovations
Oct. 28, 1964  Education of Slum Children
Jun. 05, 1963  Year-Round School
Mar. 28, 1962  Mentally Retarded Children
Dec. 17, 1958  Educational Testing
Sep. 25, 1957  Liberal Education
Jul. 11, 1956  Educational Exchange
Feb. 02, 1955  Federal Aid for School Construction
Mar. 07, 1951  Education in an Extended Emergency
Nov. 20, 1945  Postwar Public Education
Nov. 07, 1941  Standards of Education
Education Policy
Military Draft