Reviewing my own personal history, I realize that before WWII, a high school diploma assured one of some kind of lifetime job — maybe not sophisticated, but steady. By the end of WWII, like millions of ex-GIs, I had to complete a college degree to compete in a suddenly scientific world. Full-time employment demanded full-time application to education — not the liberal arts and sports oriented 8½ month current program with its stultifying 2½ month vacations. Today’s education leaves many young people still at home, wondering what they might like to work at — or even worse, what they are even qualified to do!
We must look to our new, young educators to face these challenges. However, the best and brightest will leave the education field for greener pastures unless we can offer them salaries comparable to what industry will offer them. They must be taught on a year-round basis, to face year-round work as industry would demand, and be rewarded for progress and performance as in industry. We are not so smart that we can teach or learn as much in 8½ months as a challenging world does in 12!
Every problem with our country to which I listened during the recent billion-dollar election campaign came from “politics as usual” and will not be solved by more of the same! But a new, young, erudite, appropriately paid, dedicated team of educators can solve them all and restore America’s rightful place in our science-oriented world.
Russell B. Williams