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Texas Observer, Ltd. PRINTING STATIONERY Excellent Work Guaranteed Union Shop Business and Personal Stationery BrochuresAnnual , Statements Political LiteraturePlacards Weekly Newspapers Tell Us Your Needs Our Printer Will Bid Promptly We Want Your Business DEPT. P, Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin. Change in Emphasis Governor’s Meeting Notes on Taxes, Racing Education Turns V At a luncheon this week for a small group of representa tives generally thought friendly to his programs in the past, Gov. Daniel stressed his views that it is necessary to act on the deficit first and then to join ranks on some tax plan to stave off a pos sible sales tax. At one point he said he would not leave the gov ernorship until an escheats bill had been passed. Although he said there has been much pressure on legislators from local bankers, he was reasonably confident that the bill would pass this time. On gas taxation \(other than his own pro Political Intelligence did not think the general theory of the severance beneficiary tax, passed last session, should be further explored while the law suit on constitutionality is pending. He added, however, that he favored any amendments to the tax that would counteract the Senate amendments of last session. 1′ The Corpus Christi Caller editorially typed the Texas House legislation to set up an Un-American Activties Committee “a Pandora’s box” and urged the lawmakers not to open it. Rep. Red Berry’s proposed constitutional amendment on legalized racing has been receiving wide play in the press. “No legislator ever hit Austin more serious in his intentions,” Sam Wood of the Austin American wrote, adding: “The big show will come when Berry gets his proposed amendment before committee for public airing.” Corpus Christi Caller editorialized against the amendment “morals aside,” commenting that it would bring in only a small amount in state taxes and that “the great majority of Texans . . . are unalterably opposed to their government becoming a partner in gambling enterprises.” V E. L. Wall of the San An tonio Express observed: “Chances of the payroll . . . plan chance to vote on his tax, he said. He added that the governor’s pro gram “should be given first run if they don’t pass, as many of us feel they will notI want to try to come in with this tax to get the job done.” If the tax were voted on now, he believes it would get “about 50 votes.” Connell’s proposal, a $50 deductible levy, is roughly similar to a tax offered by Frates Seeligson of San Antonio last session. He estimates it would bring in $72 million in the next biennium. Exempt under the tax, numbered HB 375, would be items now bearing state taxes, real property, inseparable items costing less than $50, food, feed, seed, fertilizer, and manufacturing parts. “The whole thing boils down to a luxury sales tax,” Connell said. As HB 18, the similar tax in 1959 received 67 votes. ly, proposes that the travels regulation act of 1959 be revised to give department heads full responsibility to plan and review travel of state employees. The league has also published a study of the Indiana gross income tax, which broadly resembles the payroll plan. gor Max Skelton of AP, in a summary of the tax positions of several of the state’s oil and gas associations, reported approval of a sales tax from the North Texas Oil and Gas Assn. and Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners. Texas Mid-Continent and TIPRO have given more indirect endorsement. gor Raymond Brooks of the Aus tin American said the payroll tax proposal “has had the first effect of reviving the hopes and efforts of general sales tax advocates. They see in it a chance to insist that only the general sales tax is sure of bringing in money of the quantity needed.” Their theory is, he wrote, that opposition has been built to the payroll tax because it hits the wage earner directly, and that “the argument is being forrn.ulated that a sales tax .. . would take less money” from the wage earner. The strongest advocates of getting a popular vote on the choice of new taxes will come from the sales. taxers, he said. V Texas Outlook, magazine for teachers, revealed a sample survey of 19 East Texas counties which found that only 78.5 percent of all high school valedictorians and 70.4 percent of all salutatorians went to college in the last decade. It advocated better guidance programs, improved preparation, and more financial assistance for capable students. V Texas Businessman said the “powers of incumbency” are coming to the fore in the Senate race as “a vital, perhaps deciding factor.” Blakley is using the power of his office to keep it. Wilson and Wright will still hold their offices, win or lose, and their supporters “are making use” of their incumbencies. Non incumbents Tower and Maverick “are on the outside looking in” and Gonzalez “while an incumbent, does not appear to be making enough headway to be taken as a factor.” tor AFL-CIO News, citing a Belden Poll which reported 62 percent of Texans in favor of increasing the minimum wage, 66 percent aid to depressed areas, 59 percent medical care to the aged under social security, and 48 percent favoring federal aid to education \(with 44 opposed “There’s a lesson . . for those of us who have espoused the liberal position . . . Lots of times, when we think we are standing with a small majority, we are actually speaking the thoughts of a rather substantial majority.” g o 00 Dallas Times-Herald said the three major appointments of Texans to federal officeJohn Connally, Jerry Holleman, George McGhee “have one common trait, the blessings if not the firm endorsement of Vice-Pres. Johnson.” Reporting that Holleman “was friendly to Johnson when it counted,” the T-H said “without Holleman’s and labor’s support, Mrs. R. D. Randolph’s efforts to make Johnson’s control of the delegation \(in Austin last Subscribe to The Texas Observer AUSTIN Texas public education has taken a decided turn toward “subject matter education” and against the “life adjustment” emphasis of recent years, Lee Wilborn, assistant commissioner for instruction of the Texas Education Agency, believes. Starting two years before Sputnik, in 1955, Wilborn says, “emphasiS has shifted very heavily toward the subject matter areas.” That year Cecil Morgan of Fort Worth, a member of the State Board of Education, asked the question, Was it true students could graduate from high school by taking the so-called “easy courses.” That question, Wilborn says, began an inquiry into the fundamental value of what was being taught in Texas schools. “The study of high school graduate requirements” resulted in stiffening up the standards. Then, in 1958, T.E.A. began a total statewide curriculum study with a ‘subject matter approach. Eleven committees of a total of 200 educators-including subject matter specialists at all levels in all basic subjectsparticipated. In December, descriptions of “the ideal course in every subject offered” from grades seven to twelve were distributed to public schools all over the state, Wilborn says. In about two months, the ideal course descriptions for courses from grades one through six will be mailed out Each “ideal course” is described in one to three pages. Elements described are the scope and purpose of the course, qualifications teachers should have to teach it, instructional materials, and specific task-areas for students to master. This study involved, in 1959-’60, 1,000 individuals and groups, Wilborn states. Curricula Revision Texas high school graduation requirements are now “pretty well in line” with standards set forth in the Conant Report on the American High School, the T.E.A. official believes. To graduate, a student must have completed 16 “Carnegie units” plus two years’ health and physical education. Nine and a half of the units must be required academic courses. While Conant recommended offering four years of English, Texas requires the high schools to offer only three years. About half the schools offer four. Curricula are being revised in basic subjects, Wilborn says, in Tyler, Dallas, San Angelo, Houston, Pasadena, Beaumont, and Austin public schools. Ability grouping has been taking hold in many schools. Under a Ford grant, the San Angelo schools have especially advanced programs to group the talented. Ability grouping is now toimd, Wilborn says, in a representative number of middle sized and large schools and in some \(but not afford a guidance program on how to set it up. Other innovations spawned by the major foundations have been slow to be accepted in Texas. Using large lecture groups and small seminars for discussion is relatively rare in Texas schools. \(Snyder has large lecture groups and uses overhead projectors, TV, and other devices, and some of thk is also being done in San Angelo Tyler schools are using lay peo ple with college degrees to help English teachers by grading papers. However, the idea of hiring administrative assistants to re THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 Feb. 4, 1961 lieve teachers of paperwork has not taken hold in Texas, often for budgetary reasons. Teaching machines are a corning thing, ‘perhaps in Texas as they are in the country. Reading-rate control devices are used in Dallas, Houston, and Austin schools, Wilborn said. But the other ‘teaching machines have not been introduced in the state yet. Wilborn’s office has received a grant \($59,teams of teachers to use all the mass media devices and teaching machines. The team is just being recruited now. Foundation Grants The grants from the foundations ha v e accelerated educational change in Texas, as in the other states. The Fund for the Advancement of Education and the National Science Foundation have for ‘five years involved from 326 to 500 top students from a total of more than 800 Texas school systems in studies in math and science on the campuses of 12 colleges. With Carnegie money a Texas Education Agency consultant is being trained to go into the schools and teach teachers to teach the talented. With a grant of less than $50,000 to the Snyder public schools, the Fund for the Advancement of Education qualified the Snyder staff for their training of at least 600 other educators at University of Texas workshops \(the subject Even for the backwater schools the title towns, the country crossroadsthere has been a program. A small grant from the Kellogg Foundation is financing “the small schools study” in Texas. It involves almost all of the smallschool superintendents. Regional meetings are being held six times a year. The first year the superintendents concentrated on library services and what they, as superintendents, could do to improve instruction. The second, present year they have ,studied language arts, instructional media, science, language labs, and guidance programs and testing. Wilborn believes the grants “plant more inspiration for the least amount of money I know.” House Committees given chairmanships included Bob Eckhardt of Houston, criminal jurisprudence; Malcolm McGregor, El Paso, education; Charles Whitfield, Houston, commerce and manufacturing; Joe Cannon of Mexia, state hospitals and special schools; Granger Mcllhany of Wheeler, agriculture; Bill Pieratt of Giddings, liquor regulations; Max Carriker of Roby, judicial districts; Alonzo Jamison of Denton, highways; Roy Harrington of Port Arthur, game and fish; W. W. Glass of Jacksonville, contingent expenses; Bob Mullen of Alice, aeronautics; Don Kennard of Fort Worth, federal relations; Franklin Spears of San Antonio, interstate co-operation. Cotten and Hinson are the only two members serving on revenue and tax and appropriations. Collins, Pieratt, Ballmn, Sandahl, and Watson will serve both on state affairs and revenue and tax. The labor committee, chaired by W. T. Dungan, a moderate, has a contingent of eleven strong pro-labor members, the other ten being moderates and conservatives. Rules is headed by veteran W. L. Smith of Beaumont, moderate liberal, with H. G. Wells of Tulia, a liberal, as vice-chairman. There is not a single hard-core conservative on the committee. appear a good deal better than before the session began, but the best guess seems to be that the tax bill. finally adopted will simply enlarge the scope of the selective sales tax program.” sof Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the legislature is a “doubtful agency” to deal with such a complex subject as auto insurance rates, but blamed the state insurance board for its “strong resistance to any meaningful revision” of the original merit plan, adding “the board has exhibited an attitude of too little and too late.” Dallas News endorsed a teachers’ pay raise, but did not choose between the $400, $600, and $800 proposals. golr Corpus Christi Caller said “the state’s pressing need to attract new business must be considered by the legislature in its search for sources of additional revenue,” argued that some source other than business must be taxed, and said it