NOVEMBER 24, 1958
NEW YORK—An enterprising young man of 12 named Claremont F. Carter, concerned about the conditions surrounding the life and pay of his teachers, recently decided to do a little research on that subject. On his own, this young Florida student wrote to people in other parts of the world and in other sections of the U. S. to find out how the living standards for teachers compared with other professions and with those of teachers abroad.
Young Mr. Carter submitted his report, entitled "The Forgotten Men and Women in our U. S. A.," to the Governor of Florida, who assured him that he would continue his efforts to improve conditions for teachers in his state. The report was also submitted to a lawyer in New York City, who congratulated the author on the effort he had put into his research and told him that someday teachers would be grateful to him for having called public attention to the situation in which many of our teachers find themselves.
Young Mr. Carter's report shows that in the U. S. the pension for a teacher at time of retirement averages 50 percent of the last five years' salary, whereas in most European countries it is from 60 to 97 percent. Moreover, the report continues, teachers in the U. S. "have about the same income as many unskilled workers. They earn less than most skilled workers and they are in the lowest income bracket, as compared with other free professions."
The report finds that teachers can live more cheaply, as far as rent and food are concerned, in Europe than they can in our country. It notes that many other countries give their teachers more respect and a better social position in the community than they receive in our country, which is supposed to have a great respect for education.
Actually, as many of us have noticed, respect for education has been diminishing in this country in the last few years, and learning for learning's sake is not given the real rewards that it receives in some other parts of the world. Certainly young Mr. Carter is therefore to be congratulated for his keen and timely report on this vital matter.
Mexico will play host in January of 1959 to the Pablo Casals Second International Violoncello Competition and to the first festival. Both of these will take place in Xalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico. This competition is in honor of Casals, and will give an opportunity for new talent to be heard. I mention these events here because many people from the U. S. frequently go to Mexico for their vacations, and to those who are interested in music this festival might be a great pleasure. At the same time, it might permit people who are looking for new talent to hear some of the promising young musicians who will come there from different parts of the world.