MARCH 11, 1960
SARASOTA, Fla.—The population pressure is affecting our nation as well as nations in other parts of the world. In New York State, for example, Governor Nelson Rockefeller is warning us that by 1970 the state will have to double its facilities to meet the needs of a swelling college population. The Governor has made the suggestion that state funds be used to help private colleges and universities accommodate the certain increase in students.
One of the ways in recent years to meet the increasing number of applicants for a fixed number of accommodations has been to raise the standards of admission. So, it is becoming harder and harder for young people to get into college.
This has its advantages in one way, for it means that as high-school students the youngsters must become aware at a younger age that they must work and work hard, and that their marks will count in their future possibilities for entering various occupations and professions.
A point is reached, however, where raised standards will cut out students who should be allowed to go on to higher education. These students may not be at the top level academically, but they could prove to be the students who are serious about wanting to learn and who later in life would develop greater ability and do good work in the world.
In the development of our country in the early years when we considered education we thought of our effort as one that would give universal basic education to everybody. Nowadays, instead, we want to educate the best minds to the highest development possible. But this must not, I believe, be allowed to obscure our first objective.
We can do both, and I believe our future plans should look to giving the best education to those who are able to take it, but also to give as much opportunity as possible to all individuals to progress as far as they are able to develop.
The conference held by the American Association for the United Nations, held in Washington early this week, seemed to be most interesting and successful. I was very much interested by a report given by Lou Harris's organization.
This was a survey made in three cities—Louisville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn., and Portland, Ore.—to find out how much people really knew about the U.N. The report reveals that practically all those interviewed were in favor of the U.N.—they were not isolationists—but they knew practically nothing about its activities or its organization.
This revelation, after all the effort that has been made to spread information, is just a commentary on how difficult it is to organize to inform people in a country as large as ours. Information about the U.N. has been the main objective of the AAUN and still we find that the real knowledge we have been able to get to the people of the country as a whole has been small indeed.
I neglected to tell you about my going to an off-Broadway play last week, called "The Prodigal" by Jack Richardson. It is the story of Agamemnon, Orestes and Electra, and I thought it caught the feel of a Greek play quite remarkably. The cast performed exceedingly well. I enjoyed it as much as any Broadway play I have seen this year.