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AN ASCENDING NEED AUSTIN From the minutes of the Hale -Aikin Committee exploring public education in Texas: Mr. Charles Simons, executive vice-president of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Assn.: “There is no real shortage of teachers in Texas, just a problem of distribution.” Mrs. Will Miller, President of Texas Assn. of School Boards: “There is a teacher shortage. There is no question about it.” This week, the Observer obtained the following figures from Mrs. Waureen Walker, Director of Certification and Teacher Relations of the Texas Education Agency, setting forth the number of emergency teaching permits granted in Texas: In 1955-56: 1,121 emergency permits \(an undetermined portion for persons having no colIn 1956-57: 2,649 \(948 having In 1957-58: 3,778 \(1,345 having Figures for the new school year are not yet available but Mrs. Walker says indications are the “figure will be higher.” The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU Vol. 50 arxP.–,-Jettstrurr 0 Weekly Newspaper leb 0 \( OCTOBER 3, 1958 We will serve ne group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. 10e per copy No. 27 `I TALK TO PEOPLE’ AUSTIN The Texas public school system, burdened with some of the worst conditions in the nation, this month creaked and bowed out under the largest load of young scholars in its history. Two million children are in Texas public schools this fall to get the best education four-hundred, million tax dollars can give them. It will be none too good. Considering past information provided by both federal and state agencies as a guide to the future, the “average” Texas school child this year: 1.Sits in a classroom that is overcrowded. 2.Goes to school fewer days than most American youngsters. 3.Has less money spent on his education than most American youngsters. 4.Will, upon ending his public education, have completed less schooling than most of his American contemporaries. 5.Will be more likely than students from other states to be rejected by Selective Service for failure to meet mental requirements. 6.Will, when he grows up, earn less money and vote in fewer elections than most Americans. The Texas school child’s future can be thus characterized because his state: 1.Will spend less money per capita on his education than most states. 2.Retains among its statutes a compulsory attendence law that is valueless because unenforceable, a situation directly permitting some shocking educational delinquencies among children of migrant laborers. Prospects for future improvement in Texas schools appear dim because: 1.The amount of money being added to the permanent school fund has been decreasing since 1955. 2.The permanent fund, designed as a repository to meet the future educational needs of the state, is being diverted at the rate of one per cent a year to pay current operating expenses. 3.The recent recommendation of the Hale-Aikin education committee that the state withdraw from the field of ad valorem taxation would, if enacted, deprive the state of its tax money for school textbooks without providing a substitute source. 4.There has appeared as yet no one in a high offical position determined to give wide publicity to actual conditions. 5.The opposition of large, politically powerful corporations to higher taxes and the efforts of their lobbyists in Austin to hold down expenditures on all fronts has impeded remedial school legislation. As the 1958-59 school year nears the end of its first month, Texas could take pride in the report of the research division of the National Education Assn. that Texas schools have more college trained teachers than every other state save one. Ninety six per cent of the state’s teachers are college graduates, a percentage exceeded only by Arizona. South Dakota ranks last in this category 99 per cent of its public school teachers being without college degrees. The Texas teacher standard is slipping however, a record number of emergency teaching permits being forecast for this year. The NEA’s research division has some sobering statistics too. Of all Texans 25 years or older, almost 16 per cent have less than five years of public school education. Only eleven states, all Southern and border states, have a worse record. For the same age group, the total average schooling in Texas is slightly over nine years, and less than one Texan in three \(29.9 four years of high school. Texas’s ranking: 36th among the states. Selective Service mental tests disqualified, on a national average, 14.7 per cent of the registrants. Texas ranks 38th among the states with over 21 per cent failures. The Texas State Teachers Assn. reports that in the 1956-97 school year, Texas spent $255.00 per pupil in average daily attendance, placing the state 32nd in the nation. New York spent $473.00 per pupil. LARRY GOODWYN TYLER Talking to him in his downtown office littte larger than a double closet, listening to him say, as he stands before his filing cabinet filled with the union’s papers, “I can live with myself. That’s all that matters to me,” one hears a gentle tremor in Jim Pierce’s nature, his idealism’s vibration in his conversation. Deep feeling rises from him like candlelight from a stairwell ; all one can do as it comes closer is wait quietly to be warmed and revealed. He is a controversial man in Texas labor, and an important one. In Tyler, where he and his wife Pat and their children are domiciled now \(they do not precisely live anywhere, as he is an international representative of the International Union of Electrical Workers and must move periodiunion integration and has made it a point to tell his brothers in the Tyler local of his membership in the NAACP. “I think it’s better that way. I want ’em to know how I feel,” he’ says. At last year’s Texas AFL-CIO convention, as chairman of the civil rights committee he was the focal personality in the half-day debate over the racial question. His committee’s report criticized segregated unions, and rather than accept the rebuke, the segregationists agreed to the really more liberal but immediately less ap AUSTIN An oil editors’ conference is not the most likely place for the inquiry, what’s becoming of the individual in the corporate world, but Walter Prescott Webb does not frequently address oil editors’ conferences. The distinguished University of Texas historian and this year’s president of the American Historical Assn. presented the trade journalists Thursday on the campus with his trenchant thoughts on the subject, “The _individual in the corporate world.” As preface he said that early American individualism collided, during the last quarter of the 19th century, with the corporation, its first competitor since the American was dumped in a wilderness and left to shift for himself. The frontier ended and the corporation became “the dominant feature of American life.” “Thus the individuals, in greater and greater number, engineers, lawyers, and even journalists, become attached to the corporations, dedicated to doing the corporate will rather than their own.” Labor “has followed the pattern of business,” forming “one of the most powerful corporations in America,” and the laborer can exercise “little more initiative in the face of the labor corporation than he could in the old days in the face of the business organization.” In the new corporate world individualism’s ideals “no longer work,” and “when men get no results from their best effort!, they lose courage, become despondent, examples of frustration,” Webb said, A Union Man’s Tyler Days plicable policies of the national AFL-CIO convention. It has not been announced, but he likely will be the civil rights chairman again at labor’s state convention in Houston this month. Has he been threatened or “cut” at Tyler? “No!” he says. What, after all, can they do to a union man responsible to his national? Besides, Pierce said, “This is a big men’s town. If several of them like you the others leave you alone.” \(Among those who like him is Howard Bryant, the multimillionaire oil independent who for a spell so conspicuously adorned and then about a year ago so peremptorily vanished from press Pierce somehe is an average appearing man in his thirties, of a medium size; he wears rimless gold stem glasses, speaks in a Christian’s English, and is not given to melodramaand one learns that he has been spared local pressures only in terms of the day by day hydraulics of an active union organizer, to whom a stray threat means as much as a stray spat to an old married man. He is spending much of his time in Abilene now, pressing for a vote on a union at U. S. Time Corporation, which employs 900 women. More than half of them are signed His own experience with corporations has convinced him that many of them are “trying to do immaculate housekeeping.” H e gives a fascinating account of his extended tour of the properties of “a big oil company” several years ago. The ‘Camp’ “We visited the wells where drillers were drawing more than college professors and working shorter hours,” he said. “We went into camps, set back deep in the woods, and I thought a camp was a place where life was primitive. Here in this camp were all the conveniences, including a swimming pool. Here was one of the best meals I can remember. There were more than twenty items of food, including chilled celery and olives, fried chicken for the finicky, and ham and roast for the robust. The kitchen was equipped like the best hotel. The woman who ran the place with no overhead save food and help was given all she could make out of it and $200 a month extra. The regular workmen got their meals at fifty cents, and outsiders paid a dollar. “At certain intervals on the journey we had barbecues, nothing but T-bone or loin steaks. All officials of one rank came in Chevrolets and those of higher rank came in Buicks, and they were both numerous. “As for treatment of employees, I was told this story: A minor official took his wife to the city in a company car which he was not supposed to do. A wreck destroyed the car and seriously in up already, he says. It takes only a man’s imagination to visualize the impact of 900 union women on that West Texas town, and the going has not been easy. Thus he has to be induced to mention that when he returned from the labor convention last year, from which his role as a leader for integration was widely publicized, several telephoners called him a “niggerlover,” told ;him “You better be careful,” and said “Get out of East Texas.” There has been a little gibing at the children, too. When he first heard he was going to East Texas, “I was a little scared,” he said, “not physically, but that I couldn’t say what I think and do a good job.” It has worked out all right. For example, a dispute developed in the union whether the two Negro employees at the Tyler General Electric plant \(where the 250 union men make commercial air condilocal’s stag dinner. Pierce told them they couldn’t have the dinner if the Negroes were not invited; they voted to invite them. The night of the dinner the Negroes were kept at overtime, but some of their fellow workers took their fOod down to them. The two janitors’ jobs, but if they are not upgraded in an ordinary manner according to contractual agreements, one gathers that General Electric can expect more than thra usual electrical static. jured the occupants. Did the company discharge him? No. It gave him a new car and paid his $7,000 hospital and doctor’s bills. “When I finished that tour I could not think of one thing that corporation could do for its employees that it had left undone. I told my host that his company made mine, the great University of Texas, look like a stingy stepdaddy. I told him also that I kept expecting to see an altar covered with purple cloth on which candles were kept burning, On top would be the company symbol, and there would be a pillow on which all employees could kneel to give thanks for all the blessings they received.” Again, Webb was among 40 U.S. professors invited to be guests of DuPont for ten days at Wilmington, Del. “Many of the college professors, they were all in the social sciences, had spent some time criticizing corporations. It was amusing to watch us after hours, sitting in the hotel lobby a little unhappy because we could find nothing for which to criticize DuPont. As far as we could tell, they had cured all the evils that money could cure.” The Questions But what is it individuals want “that this powerful corporation