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Texas Has 800,000 Adult Illiterates FAVORITISM FOR GRIDSTER SEEN AT TECH LUBBOCK Texas Tech of f i c i a l s yielded to pressure, apparently from a member or members of the college’s board of directors, and reinstated a football player who had been found guilty of cheating on exams while leaving on the suspended rolls six non-football-playing students dropped from the college for the same offense. This is the tendency of the evidence now coming to light in a new academic scandal at Texas ports reaching the Observer in Austin for several weeks have been confirmed in open debate at a faculty meeting attended by 100 persons here last week. The nature of the cheating is not described, but professors’ copies of examinations are reported to have been involved. Dr. Kline Nall, chairman of a special faculty disciplinary committee, said the football player and six others were suspended after they were found guilty of cheating by the faculty committee. Subsequently, Nall said, Dr. E. N. Jones, Tech president, took the football player off probation as a result of “outside pressures.” Asked if the pressure came from any member of the Tech board, he said, “Yes, it was so indicated.” Dr. Jones would say only that “whatever pressures may have existed did not come from the athletic department.” Nall conceded he had sat in meetings in which W. D. Watkins of Abilene, chairman of the board of directors, and Jim Lindsey of Midland, chairman of the board’s athletic committee, were present. Watkins was quoted, “A winning football team is what we’re interested in.” Lindsey said he was told about the player’s reinstatement by Watkins. At the faculty debate last week one professor said, “This is a question involving the academic integrity of Texas Tech.” The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which has not heretofore reported on the months-old matter, said debate was heated and several teachers demanded “the full story” from the faculty advisory committee and the faculty discipline committee but did not get it. In a report to the faculty, members of the disciplinary committee said the F. A. C. wrote Jones April 9 deploring “the pressure put on the president by outside forces” and commending Jones for his “forthright stand to protect the integrity of this institution.” Subsequently Jones yielded and the committee wrote him asking that “in the interest of uniformity, all disciplinary probations be removed… any decision favoring one student is unjust to others.” Jones and the disciplinary committee then decided, as Jones said, that “all involved students should be reinstated, or their probations removed.” They were. No resolutions for action were offered at the faculty meeting. Last Sunday the Lubbock daily editorialized that those responsible for giving the football player preference “scarcely can be very proud of their action.” The discovery of cheating was “short of astounding” but interference by outsiders, including board members, reflects on the academic integrity of any college and “is clearly a case of distorted values on the part of someone who should know better.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 Nov. 28, 1958 \(Continued from Page and groups are helping the illiter ate,” Cortright says. “Literacy provides an opportunity for any one of any age to make an untold contribution to the local well-be ing of the community. It is person getting together with person, on an adult basis of friendship. It becomes more than just teaching a person to read or write. It becomes a witness of concern and consideration.” Cortright believes an organization-church, club, civic organization-should first call a local workshop in its name but should invite all interested groups and literate citizens. The Baylor Literacy Center will provide a speaker and promotional materials, guidance in running the workshop, and advice on how to Definition: “Illiterate … of persons; Ignorant of letters or literature; without education… Unable to read, i. e. totally illiterate… An illiterate, unlearned, or uneducated person; spec., one unable to read.” The Oxford Universal Dictionary on Historical Principles, Third Ed. find the illiterates in the community. This last is the main problem once a program is launched. “There is a great stigma to the word, ‘illiterate’,” Cortright says. “The main problem is getting people to admit their plight.” Last year a TV program was used is Waco, but plans to have “live illiterates” on the show had to be abandoned. The literacy center is located in an old frame building off the Baylor campus, Cortright says, “so people don’t feel bad about coming.” In Waco the program has trained 50 teachers of literacy, but at present there are only about 30 students-though the census figures showed there were 9.500 functional illiterates in Waco in 1950. In Baylor’s literacy workshops, “the teachers, the citizens who are helping, are reading assistants, and the students are new readers. Kind of like Salisbury steak instead of hamburger.” Although manifestly illiteracy is high among the minority populations, the Negroes and the LatinAmericans, Cortright says “the people we seem to keep running across are non-literate whites.” He believes more contacts are needed between the program and the leadership of the minority communities. “It’s hard to reach the colored people,” he said. “The people I know who are lifetime Texans don’t know how to do it either.” He said he has been giving much thought to the problem of breaking through to the illiterates in the Latin and Negro communities and would welcome suggestions. Nonreadingness’ What, Cortright was asked, causes illiteracy? “Early sickness is a very important factor-people dropping cut of schools. Then the last 20 or 30 years there haven’t been good schools in the rural areas. The bulk of these people are moving to the cities from the country. There is a tenth grade student at McGregor who can’t read. How does he get along? By an agreement he gives no book reports, and his mother does his reading aloud for him-I know that, she told me.” Another cause he calls “the nonreadingness of our culture.” He defines this as “the lack of importance of reading in our society” but does not want to be more explicit. “Then there are people who tell our teachers, ‘Gee I didn’t learn to read in school very well.” There’s the joke we have of the student who heard the name of our program, Baylor Literacy Studies, and said ‘That must be another name for freshman English.” What about low wages? “There is a perfect parallel between literacy and income, the increase of literacy and the rise of income. No doubt about it,” he said. \(The U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare published in 1953 “Literacy Education,” a study of the statistics on the nation’s 10,000,000 functional illiterates in 1950. This study observed, “Illiteracy is closely related to many other deficiencies, such as poverty, d i s e a s e, malnutrition, low wages, and occupational inefficiency.” \(With the one exception of New Mexico, the study continued, all states with more than ten percent functional illiterates are in the South, “where in general the quantity and quality of education provided the average child is considerably less than in other regions of the country. Thus it is seen that there is a relationship between illiteracy in a state and the amount of support given genCortright is wary of government action to cure illiteracy. “I’ve been a Texan long enough to believe that if it becomes part of government I’m not sure it’s going to work. It that’s the only way funds can be obtained, then yes,” he says. “I think that a particular place in the state framework for a State Director of Literacy Education would be very helpful,” he said could help provide the technical assistance which could make such an office meaningful to the illiterates.” “Another place we’d like to work is through the prisons,” Cortright said. A guard and a model prisoner from a federal prison in Colorado recently visited the literacy center and learned how to teach illiterates, then returned to the prison to teach illiterate inmates. `Above Politics’ But literacy, Professor Cortwright says, is larger than politics. He tells of a time he went into a village in India to teach literacy. He was well received by two friendly brothers, and days and weeks passed while he worked with the illiterates and those who could teach them. “Then I learned the two brothers were members of Mahasabha, the extreme rightist India party; the man who assassinated Gandhi was a member. They are most outspoken against foreigners. So literacy breaks down political barriers. Literacy is above politics, just as people are first people and then members of a political party.” Cortright is modest personallyone has to insist on questions about his background, he does not like to talk about himself-but one gathers he was educated, with specialization in languages, at the University of Michigan; worked on literacy in Pakistan under this country’s Point Four, then the Technical Cooperation Administration, in 1952-1953; taught at the University of Puerto Rico; and returned to India \(“They have 82 for more literacy work under a private group, World Literacy, Inc., of New York. He uses the Laubach method of teaching, devised by Dr. Frank Laubach, a Congregational Christian missionary who used charts which display a letter superimposed on the picture of a familiar object whose name begins with the letter and whose shape is roughly similar. Cortright worked with Laubach in India. He remembers going into a village near Allahabad, India, during a smallpox epidemic in the town. The people believed the smallpox goddess wanted the epidemic, that it was her will; “they felt it was not good to change that.” As literacy spread, Cortright said, the epidemic retreated: the literacy pamphlet explained smallpox shots. He is teaching a literacy course at Baylor and conducting the literacy center’s program; next semester he will have courses on basic literacy, teaching English as a foreign language, and writing for illiterates. His wife also teaches English at Baylor. `A Dramatic Thing’ The Baylor program developed from President Eisenhower’s speech here in 1956 suggesting that American universities should have more contact with foreign universities. In December, 1956, Baylor sponsored “A Conference on the Implementation of President Eisenhower’s Proposal”-\(“good title, describes what was going on,” establishing a literacy center at Baylor was conceived. The center opened in. 1957-’58. Its work has two sides, training teachers of illiteratesand teaching illiterates. “I know of no other university in the country that has set up a program specifically in this particular field,” Cortright says. A Waco Literacy Council, made up of ordinary citizens, educators, retired people, housewives, was established. The purpose was “to help people learn to read.” The center produced materials on learning to read, and these were used in a literacy workshop. A TEXAS ILLITERACY Years of school completed by persons 25 or over by residence and color, 1950 Census. None 1 to 4 Total % % United States 2.6 8.4 11.0 White 2.5 6.7 9.2 Nonwhite 3.9 25.4 29.3 Texas 4.3 11.5 15.8 Urban 3.8 10.0 13.8 Rural nonfarm 5.3 13.1 18.4 Rural farm 4.9 15.3 20.2 White 4.1 9.7 13.8 Nonwhite .. 5.7 24.0 29.7 committee was set up to find where the illiterates were. House to house surveys were taken. Short talks on literacy were presented before civic forums of various kinds by a group of good speakers Mrs. Thelma Capp, a speech teacher; Calvin McCarter, a student in the literacy program; Mrs. Collum Smith, housewife, married to a doctor; Mrs. William Templer, supervisor in the county schools; Mrs. Denny, a former teacher at the women’s college in Denton; and Cortright. “It’s a dramatic thing. It catches the imagination of people,” Cortright says. A course w a s conducted on KWTX-TV \(this year, Cortright says, “we lost the program because of ‘The American Bandlor’s first book on how to read were sold. Two classes were taught at the center, with about a dozen illiterates in each. This year Cortright has prepared a taped series for radio. There will also be a series in Spanish. He contemplates three 15-minute programs a week for 35 weeks. He believes the first step in sponsoring these shows over local stations should be the forma tion of a local literacy council. “New readers” finish Baylor’s first book in two to five weeks; the second book in three to ten months; the third in from two to six months. The course carries them to the fifth grade reading level. The only charge is for the books, which Cortright believes the student should buy, for several reasons. The prices range from 30 cents to $1.15 a book. The correspondence course began this month. Ten students had registered as of last week, including a Baptist missionary in the Belgian Congo, the wife of an oilman in Venezuela, and a lady from Kansas City, Mo. \(“I don’t The center gives out certifications that ‘students have “completed t h e Reading Assistant course” and are qualified to teach adult illiterates. Successful literacy workshops have been held in Waco, which has a literacy council; Abilene,