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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Louisville Courier Journal: 'American Idealist' offers a revealing look at Shriver
    chance to practice his idealism when Kennedy offered to let him pursue a project called the Peace Corps which exists today The concept was simple Americans were urged to go abroad and work with the poorest people as a way of living up to America s highest ideals Peace Corp volunteers have been people with specific skills such as teachers or just anybody who could do anything that was needed They helped others get safe water built schools and did thousands of little and big things that made lives better Doubters derided the organization as the Kiddie Corps and called Shriver an overgrown Boy Scout They said nobody would step forward But more than 10 000 did right away in the early 1960s The Kennedy administration had more applications for the Peace Corps than all other government jobs Shriver made the Peace Corps America s first war for the hearts and minds of people in other countries and he did it with an army of soldiers who didn t carry guns Shriver s Peace Corps turned Yankee go home into send us more Americans like these He would later answer those who said that charity should begin at home with VISTA a peace corps to help struggling Americans He went on to establish law centers for the poor anti hunger groups foster grandparents groups advocacy groups for affordable housing and maybe most important of all a program called Head Start to help children get off on the right foot in school Shriver and Kennedy talked about how they could expand all this in the years to come but that day in Dallas intervened It seemed like the end of a dream except that Kennedy s successor in the White House Lyndon Johnson had even bigger ideas He wanted Shriver to

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/article/louisville-courier-journal-american-idealist-offers-a-revealing-look-at-shriver (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Los Angeles Times: A breed of politician that is facing extinction
    horn and lone trumpet in the score is enough to evoke the word haunting Indeed as portrayed in Idealist Shriver seems almost too good to be true The son of Catholic activists his mother and father founded Commonweal the young Shriver watched as the stock market crash ruined his well to do family On the charity of friends and family he went to Yale he was briefly an editor at Newsweek before becoming a lawyer Then he met and wed Eunice Kennedy became part of the dynasty and the rest is baby boomer history Seemingly always on the side of the oppressed and disenfranchised Shriver believed that the only way to break down barriers of class and race was to do just that by sending young educated Americans into the slums and ghettos and struggling neighborhoods abroad and at home And he often went with them The only criticism Shriver receives from the folks interviewed in Idealist is that he was too demanding too hard working Even those who may not agree with his politics or pedigree cannot deny the work he did or the effect it continues to have on this country we did not win the War on Poverty but at least poverty was acknowledged as an enemy Head Start alone has improved the lives of millions And if the Peace Corps is not the post college draw it once was it remains vital and has spawned other groups with similar goals Oh and if that s not enough of a legacy the Shrivers created the Special Olympics In their backyard There is mercifully no airing of Kennedy laundry in Idealist save the complicated effect the family had on Shriver s career Yes he was part of the inner circle but when it seemed as though Hubert Humphrey

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/article/los-angeles-times-a-breed-of-politician-that-is-facing-extinction (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the Hadassah Convention
    Peace Corps to form some gigantic supra national organization responsible for volunteers from different countries It s only function is to help and encourage national Peace Corps like our own Peace Corps run on a national basis responsible to their own governments and people Its success is one of the big little know stories of the year For in the last year almost every industrialized country in the free world has established its own version of the Peace Corps And I predict that by the end of next year every such country will have a Peace Corps of its own The Netherlands Volunteer Corps is already in training Dutch volunteers are training for work in the Cameroons with another group scheduled for Northeast Brazil Danish volunteers have begun work in Tanganyika The German Peace Corps the German Development Service was inaugurated a few months ago in a ceremony with President Lubke Chancellor Adenauer and President Kennedy The French Volunteers for Progress will be on their way to Africa before the end of the year A new volunteer program for Great Britain involving 500 college graduates has already begun In Argentina Belgium New Zealand Norway Canada and Australia plans are being made to recruit to train and to send overseas additional men and women dedicated to volunteer work in the service of progress and peace This year over 1 000 volunteers from other countries will be in the field Next year we estimate the number will rise to more than 2 500 And the future knows no limit In fact the contributions of other countries should ultimately equal the scale of our own effort And this is being done without costing the United States taxpayer a single cent Every one of these Peace Corps will be financed from start to finish by the country which runs it Three and a half million dollars has already been appropriated by foreign parliaments for this purpose Next year more than ten million dollars will be earmarked for Peace Corps activities All the United States has spent over more than a year is a contribution of less than 200 000 to help finance the Secretariat which has been instrumental in securing this multi million dollar effort by our free world allies And even this expense we have not borne alone For despite the fact that the United States offered to pay the entire cost of the first year of Secretariat operations other countries have voluntarily and without our asking come forward with contributions of almost 50 000 in services and cash Nations of five countries now work for the Secretariat paid for by their own governments Nothing could speak more eloquently about the importance they attach to this activity And I know you will be interested to hear that Israel has supplied a full time staff member to the Secretariat and was the first country to make a cash contribution And next year if the Secretariat continues other nations have already committed themselves to help support the work of the Secretariat through cash contributions The Netherlands for example has offered to supply equip and staff a European office for the organization so that Europe can keep a in closer touch with the activities of volunteers throughout the world We are on the verge of seeing the Peace Corps idea the idea of voluntary service in the cause of human welfare become the largest peaceful volunteer movement the world has ever seen This movement will take many forms as it is adapted to the genius and needs of different countries But unlike many volunteer movements of the past it will have the great single theme of service to human welfare and understanding of service in short to lasting and fruitful peace We are glad to have been associated with the Secretariat which has helped to make this possible We are proud that our own idea has found so many imitators for such imitation is the sincerest form of flattery But the major credit must go not to the Secretariat or to our own Peace Corps but to the vitality and appeal of the Peace Corps concept the volunteer idea itself We can see part of this appeal in the fact that there are no Peace Corps behind the iron curtain no stream of volunteers coming from communist countries And the reason is plain The volunteer goes to another country as a free man He is free to talk as he wishes associate with whom he wishes believe what he wishes He can travel freely throughout the country There is no policeman hovering at his shoulder He works for the officials of the country to which be goes not subject to a totalitarian discipline and supervision He is forbidden to propagandize or proselytize for a faith or a political system or a particular economic structure He goes to help others develop as they wish to develop not in accordance with a super plan dictated in the Kremlin or in Peking This is why no communist country can send its people as volunteers to work in strange lands This is why there is no Soviet Peace Corps This is why although there may someday be an anti missile missile there will not be an anti Peace Corps Peace Corps Thus the strength of our idea springs from the fact that it is an association of free men But it is more than this Nothing has been more inspiring to me than to see the people of other countries reacting to the chance to serve just as our own have reacted This year alone more than 40 000 Americans are volunteering to join the Peace Corps The number has gone up every year of our operation And now the European countries with much smaller populations have begun to see the same pattern Germany has 1500 applications although they have not yet begun to recruit The Netherlands has 370 applications for 50 spots Denmark five times as many volunteers as

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/growth-of-an-international-movement (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver speaks at the 1962 Conference on Middle Level Manpower in Puerto Rico
    ground to feed a family of ten and feeling that the centuries have passed him by It is the bright face of a young boy in Latin America who senses intuitively that life can contain more than a hut with beans and bread The world is coming alive New countries are bursting with activity In Latin America and the Middle East in Africa and Asia there is an urgent desire to leap into the twentieth century The Peace Corps is part of our effort to help make that leap forward a success It is part of our effort to help in the world wide assault against poverty hunger ignorance and disease a grass roots rice roots volunteer effort of free men As we see it the Peace Corps is a trained group of skilled workers and I emphasize trained and skilled a trained group of skilled workers young in years mature in judgment dedicated in purpose voluntary in character ready to go and work anywhere in the world at the discretion of the President of the United States They will go however only where they are asked We shall not impose the Peace Corps on anyone or any country Our Peace Corps Volunteers will teach LANGUAGES English where it is wanted and needed other subjects where they are requested They will FIGHT DISEASE by bringing the scientific information about health sanitation and medicine where it is needed They will work to IMPROVE FARM METHODS animal care irrigation land use fertilizer and marketing methods If asked they will serve in LOCAL GOVERNMENT as clerks administrators and helpers All of this will be an effort on our part to encourage the development of newly emerging nations and to develop with them Every Peace Corps volunteer who goes abroad will have something to offer to the people with whom he lives and works and to learn from them There has been an important missing link in our existing programs of foreign assistance and that link was well described at this Forum by a student from Pakistan who said We are not ungrateful for the aid we have received but it would be infinitely better if it could be done in a more direct and personal way A more direct and personal way that is the way of the Peace Corps and that is an important difference between the Peace Corps and other programs of mutual assistance The leader of an Asian country was touring his nation recently when he came upon a village that looked cleaner brighter wider awake than those he had already visited Working on the outskirts of the village was a group of men including some young Americans The leader speaking in French said to his interpreter Ask that young man what he is doing here flow has he been able to help my people improve their villages The translator conveyed the message to the young American who replied Please explain that my French is not good enough to converse

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/human-skills-in-the-decade-of-development (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver discusses race in the Peace Corps at Howard University
    Americans of all races and creeds incidentally are living in 47 countries and they re living at the village s level They re working there and so far they have performed as well or even better than we ever expected I don t know whether it s because of these reasons or because we re doing it very inexpensively at the cost that we said we would do it that the Peace Corps is alleged to be the only agency in the U S government which enjoys the combined simultaneous support of Hubert H Humphrey and Barry Goldwater But we re grateful for the support of both those men and not long ago Billy Graham endorsed the Peace Corps and we re for that too We all know whose side he s on and we want to be on that side too At the beginning of the Peace Corps it was stated that this would be some sort of a Democratic partisan politics type of an operation But I m happy to report to you that we have three Saltonstalls in the Peace Corps We have had we don t have right now but we did have a Rockefeller in the Peace Corps and he hasn t left for political reasons either We even have the grandson of the late Senator Robert A Taft working with us out in Tanganyika Now we ve got all these distinguished Republican names and I want you to know that we also have some room in the Peace Corps for people named Hernandez and Mankiewicz and Sonski And we even have room for a few Irishmen like O Brien in the Peace Corps The Peace Corps as I said before has done what it said it would do There are no barriers on race creed or color there are no barriers on religion And because of this we have an open society which has attracted Americans of all classes A second thing about the Peace Corps you might remember is the fact that it is competent that is the Peace Corps Volunteers have proved to be competent Now again when we started the Peace Corps people said you can t possibly send American kids overseas to do jobs that experts have failed to accomplish It was a ludicrous idea to send people like you It was stated that you didn t have either the moral courage or the physical stamina or the intelligence they had a very high opinion of you You had none of these things which were required for these jobs They predicted in fact that when you got over there you d cause more trouble than you were worth you d prove to be incompetent in the work the American diplomats would be in the throes of despair because of all the problems you would cause and foreign governments would be sending you home The truth of the matter is that after three years of operation we have yet to have any foreign government declare even one Peace Corps volunteer to be incompetent for the job he was sent over there to do whether he was sent over there to be a school teacher or lawyer social worker an architect or a Volunteer working in educational television not one has been declared incompetent And they ve done all these jobs that I have just mentioned In addition we have over 300 university teachers overseas teaching in Africa in Asia Latin America and elsewhere These are difficult jobs requiring high levels of competence and those Volunteer teachers have done very well with them Now we ve had some unusual jobs too For example one country asked us to send a person to operate a tire re capping machine I thought that was a rather odd request I wondered why they needed somebody to do that but then I found out that the United States had given them the tire re capping machine Now you might say it s not too hard to get a person to run a tire re capping machine there are probably a thousand of them right here in Washington But if you try to find a fellow to run a tire re capping machine who also can speak Farsi that s difficult Well we ve got that fellow he s out in Afghanistan and he s running that tire re capping machine and he speaks Farsi quite well I saw him out there just about two or three weeks ago We were asked to send English teachers to Togo because Togo having been formerly a French colony used French as the official language Yet the government people there and others were very much interested in learning English so they could communicate more easily with the Nigerians and the Ghanians and so on So we sent English teachers out there to teach in the schools Little did we realize that when one of the girls in this group a 26 year old Negro American incidentally went out there that shortly after she arrived about a year later there would be a coup d etat President Olympio was killed A new president named Grunitzky came to power About two or three months after President Grunitsky came to power he called on the Peace Corps and asked us to send somebody who could teach him English And this young 26 year old Negro American girl now goes three or four days a week to the Presidential Palace of the President of Togo and gives English instructions That requires a certain degree of competence She had it As a result we re not only giving English instruction to him but to other members of his family and to other members of his Cabinet Another thing about the Peace Corps Volunteers that might interest you is that they re popular I remember when we started the Peace Corps the slogan Yankee Go Home was the most prevalent slogan in the underdeveloped world And the theory was at least in some people that we had too many Americans overseas They were over there causing us a lot of bad publicity and creating a bad impression and the objective was to bring as many of them home as possible So it was a great idea when we decided we d try to send 10 000 more overseas Everyone threw up his hands at that prospect But it was about two years ago I mean it was two years after we started that I was in Thailand I had the honor of calling on the Prime Minister at that time whose name was Sarit And afterward the Bangkok World had a streamer headline on an inside page It said Send Us More Peace Corps Volunteers and it was signed Sarit In every nation to which the Peace Corps has gone almost without exception the government and the people of those countries have asked us to double or triple or quadruple or quintuple the number of Volunteers we sent out there to begin with These Volunteers have proved to be popular As an example of what s happened I ll just cite Afghanistan where I was visiting just three weeks ago We sent nine Volunteers there to start our program That was the smallest contingent we ve ever sent to any country nine About a year later they asked us to send 30 more and then they asked us to send still 30 more so that by the time I got to Afghanistan there were about 68 Peace Corps Volunteers in that country Afghanistan has had a long long history of being conquered and laid waste by one invader after another and they re very suspicious of foreigners It doesn t make any difference what country the foreigners come from they don t like them While I was there the Cabinet of Afghanistan had a meeting and for the first time in contemporary history of that country they granted to one organization the right to work all over Afghanistan in the small villages as well as in the large cities and in the capital And the organization which got that unique privilege was the Peace Corps And as I left that country I was handed a letter requesting us to supply 220 additional Volunteers to Afghanistan a country where we started with nine just two years ago In the Philippines there s an award named after the famous President of the Philippines Magsaysay The Magsaysay Award is known in some quarters as the Nobel Prize of Asia It s a nongovernmental award given by a distinguished board of directors all of them Asians Last September for the first time in the history of that award the award was bestowed upon a group of non Asians a group of Westerners and that group was the Peace Corps Volunteers working in Asia And with the award came a 10 000 check in recognition of the contribution made by these Peace Corps Volunteers working in 14 different Asian nations I ll never forget a picture I got about a year and a half after the Peace Corps got started It was a picture from Ghana It was a picture of a fellow named Michael Shea a Peace Corps Volunteer who was teaching in a high school in Ghana As an extra curricular activity Mike Shea coached the soccer team and the soccer team at his school won the high school championship of Ghana I received a picture of the team showing the students carrying Mike Shea off the field in jubilation on their shoulders And I said to myself I wonder how many white men are being carried around in jubilation on the shoulders of Africans today I think you ll agree with me there are very few But this Peace Corps Volunteer was being acclaimed in that way another sign of what I mean when I say they are popular Now just in the last few months another extraordinary thing has happened The country of Panama severed relations with the United States of America There are some 50 Peace Corps Volunteers in Panama but the Panamanian government has never even hinted at the suggestion that maybe the Peace Corps Volunteers should be thrown out of Panama because they had broken relations with our country In fact it s just the opposite they want more Peace Corps Volunteers We the United States suspended diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic about six or seven months ago But there was never any suggestion at that time that the Peace Corps Volunteers 190 of them be brought out of the Dominican Republic They stayed there all during the period when diplomatic relations were suspended and in fact the Dominican Republic asked us for more Volunteers In West Africa in Ghana the newspapers attack the Peace Corps about once a month and use rather violent language at times Lots of people back home here get very excited about this One of the things they don t realize is that I think there are 9 10 million people in Ghana and the circulation of the largest newspaper is something less than 40 000 Nevertheless we get very excited some people do back here about that And yet when the attacks on the Peace Corps sometimes are at their height in the newspapers the government of Ghana asks us to send more Peace Corps Volunteers A rather interesting example of that was two years ago when President Nkrumah went to Moscow to receive the Lenin Peace Prize He received the Lenin Peace Prize and made a big trip to Red China then came back to Ghana and asked us to double the size of the Peace Corps So I think you have to look upon the Peace Corps as something a little bit different than a part of a governmental operation or as something which is part of any cold war or colonialistic operation or imperialism It s not any of those things and these actions which I have just cited to you indicate the fact that not only in our own country but all around the world the Peace Corps is looked upon as something different But these things about the Peace Corps and the Volunteers in it perhaps are of some interest to you But some of you may be saying to yourself Are two years in the Peace Corps going to be a waste of time for me Is it going to be an interruption in my career let s say planning to be a teacher or lawyer or a doctor or social worker or pharmacist Will I get behind the competition if I m a man Or sometimes the girls think that all the guys will be married if they go overseas and come back two years hence On that point I might mention that we ve had quite a few marriages in the Peace Corps something like 300 now Consider the Howard co ed who dates a certain fellow on campus tonight how much does she really know about that fellow He may be a friend of the family but she doesn t know as much about him as she would if he were a Volunteer If you re in the Peace Corps and you see another Volunteer think what you know about him In the first place you know that he s got some intellectual capacity otherwise he wouldn t have got through the training and be able to learn the foreign language and so on Second you know that he s physically O K He s been all checked out by the doctors Third you know he s gone through a lot of psychological testing so this fellow is not a nut He may act in a strange way but even the doctors say that he s been psychiatrically tested so he s in pretty good shape there And even under extreme circumstances you can know that this fellow has even been cleared by the FBI Now how many times can you go out on a date here at home and know all that Well that was sort of parenthetical excuse me I was going to talk for just a second about the fact that the Peace Corps should not be looked upon as an interruption in your career In fact it should I think be looked upon as a continuation of whatever academic work you re doing Now here s the reason why I think so In the first place out of 545 Peace Corps Volunteers who came home up until December 31st about 50 per cent of them have gone on with their education in the United States They ve earned over 200 000 in scholarships and prizes They re studying at a whole variety of American universities They re doing graduate work undergraduate work and most of them as I say have gotten fellowships for this So they have got a continuing educational career These are jobs and scholarships and opportunities which would not have been opened to these Volunteers if they had not gone into the Peace Corps It explains why the Dean of Harvard College says that two years in the Peace Corps is more valuable than a Rhodes scholarship He says that because at least he told me because of the fact that if you go to Oxford or Cambridge after having spent an undergraduate career here at Howard for example and you go over to Oxford and Cambridge there s very little difference You re still getting lectured at by people speaking English Well they may speak with a slightly difference accent that s true They may give you a slightly different interpretation of the American Revolution But basically you re in the same culture But if you go as a Peace Corps Volunteer and teach on the faculty let s say of a school in Nigeria Ethiopia Nyasaland Northern Rhodesia Uganda or Togo or go down to South America in a Latin American culture if you go out to India or Thailand Indonesia for the first time in your life you may have the experience of living in a different culture all day long every day You would have a chance to begin to look on yourself objectively for the first time to begin to inquire why you do the things you do why you think the thoughts you think why you have the conclusions or attitudes that you have It s been said at least once I know by a famous man that if you know only one language you don t even know that one language well Perhaps it s true that if you know only one culture you don t know that culture well The Peace Corps gives you that kind of experience and a Rhodes scholarship cannot and that s why the Dean of Harvard stated that two years in the Peace Corps are more valuable than a Rhodes scholarship Well I could go on talking to you about the values of service in the Peace Corps but it would be a disservice to the Volunteers if I over emphasized the selfish values to you The Peace Corps has not been based on that kind of selfish attitude and it does not explain the great spirit which the Volunteers have The true nature of the Peace Corps is better illustrated I think by two boys who were the first two to die the first two to lose their lives abroad They were killed in an airplane accident in Colombia One of them was a fellow named David Crozier from Missouri and the other was a fellow named Lawrence Radley from Chicago Just before he died David Crozier wrote a letter to his parents and they wrote me a letter after he was dead quoting from David s letter His parents quoted this sentence from their son their

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-howard-university (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver speaks to the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick
    if any one down there has a beach wagon Al Smith was one of the great heroes of my youth Al Smith always displayed the Irish gift for humor and quick repartee Once he was giving a speech when a heckler cried out Tell them all you know Al it won t take long Smith quickly replied I ll tell them all we both know it won t take any longer I can remember very vividly being taken by my parents up to Albany New York in 1928 when Al Smith gave his speech accepting the nomination I sat only 20 feet away on the stage and I can honestly say it was one of the great moments of my life I m sure I m no different from anyone else in this room when I tell you tears streamed down my face when he was defeated One of the criticisms made about me is that I don t have any political experience This is true But I think I am learning the art of politics very fast Just today I was testifying before the House of Representatives when someone asked me how I felt about the poverty program I replied in true political fashion that I knew some people in the hall were for the program and some who were not and after lengthy and serious consideration so was I But learning politics doesn t help much In fact after reading the latest polls on the Vice Presidency I went to one of the elder statesmen of Washington and said to him There seems to be a conspiracy of silence about my possibilities Do you have any advice He replied Yes I do young man join it I have always prided myself in my ability to give a lot of information in a speech But that confidence was shaken when one of my assistants reported a conversation outside a hall where I was speaking One of the audience who had stepped outside for a breath of fresh air was asked What s going on in there Sarge Shriver is speaking was the reply What is he talking about said the stranger I don t know the man answered he didn t say But although politics still has its difficulties it does seem to attract higher quality people to it these days It was not so many years ago in the Massachusetts legislature that a roll call was being held on an important piece of legislation One of the leading members of the House tired after working on the bill was dozing in his place Suddenly his name was called He snapped to attention and shouted out not guilty Of course politics is a lot more respectable profession now but there is still some defensiveness about the old image of politics especially in Washington since the Bobby Baker case I was at a dinner the other night when I heard a prominent woman lean over to a leading politician and

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-friendly-sons-of-st-patrick (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver addresses the Advertising Council
    at the ball Slogan 4 says Things are worse every place else Our poor are lucky they re not in Nepal or Brazil we re told Being poor in America becomes by this kind of verbal hocus pocus a sort of lucky break because there are other countries where things are worse But those who use this argument aren t willing even for one instant to exchange their lives with the upper classes the rich in the underdeveloped countries And so if rich Americans won t change places with their counterparts in Brazil or India why should the American poor take comfort from their relatively better position The plain fact is that poverty means much more than a low income a leaky roof or kids who stay home from school because they don t have shoes As bad as all those things are there is degradation of the spirit a hopelessness a sense of being outcast from society that comes from poverty in the midst of affluence Where the national average income of a country is only 50 per year the pain of exclusion does not bear so heavily on the family which has only 40 But in America technology has provided all of us poor and rich alike with a vision of our abundance of a world of new cars ski slopes and suburbs We must not compare America s poor with the poor of Asia but with the affluence of America And so we came to cliche which finds its roots in Jefferson s dictum that Government is best which governs least and now finds its vulgar expression in the thought that Big Government is bad unless it comes with big Defense contracts for my state Shriver we are told is to be a Czar and the office of Economic Opportunity will be a giant bureaucracy spreading its greedy tentacles throughout the land releasing a swarm of petty officials to tell people how to fight poverty Well I am here to tell you I am no Czar I know what happens to Czars I know also that poverty has many different faces as the different places where it is found Everyone connected with the Poverty Program knows that What will work in Cleveland may not work in Los Angeles and a program which Chicago might use to fight urban slum poverty will not take root in the rocky soil of Appalachia That s why the heart of the poverty legislation is local community action and voluntary participation There will be no poverty Czars There will be no giant bureaucracy but there will be Federal assistance for local plans worked out and presented by local leaders and most run by the communities they are designed to benefit These cliches slogans and myths have great lasting power Maybe I don t place as much reliance on polling techniques as do TV sponsors but I know that 83 of the American people were reported recently to think the War Against Poverty

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-advertising-council (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver addresses the American Jewish Committee concerning education in Chicago
    largest cities it is fourth best in the salary paid to beginning teachers We are exceeded only by Detroit Los Angeles and San Francisco As to maximum salary Chicago stands first in the nation Damn I like that Nothing is more important for the future welfare of Chicago than to keep our city at the top of the teacher salary schedules nation wide Perhaps we can stand the Cubs in last place but let s keep our teachers in first place In addition to salaries however there are many features which attract and retain able teaching personnel For example we have instituted new personnel policies by which teachers are given greater opportunities to select the schools to which they are assigned We have instituted teachers seminars before the opening of schools in order to create a team spirit among the teachers in each school We have provided master teachers who help new members of the teaching staff with problems of instruction and discipline in some of our more difficult neighborhoods We have encouraged all our teachers to increase the number of courses they study in the liberal arts and general education compared with courses in methodology At Chicago Teachers College for example we have reduced the courses in methodology by 20 And last year for the first time in a quarter of a century we started to require entrance examinations for admission to Chicago Teachers College These are effective means I believe for improving the status and dignity of the teaching profession We have instituted teaching by television so that the services of a superior teacher are available to thousands of students in our schools and the techniques of this teacher can be seen and emulated by hundreds of young teachers trying to improve their professional abilities Results speak for themselves In the matter of teacher recruitment and teacher retention it is significant that more than four thousand new teachers have been appointed by the Board of Education from eligible lists in the three years since the single salary schedule was adopted This is 1 4 of the total staff Further the Department of Personnel reports that there is an unusually small percentage of teachers leaving the service despite the allurements provided by private industries retirement benefits or suburban schools The third important problem facing American education has been described as the shortage of money This so called money shortage is responsible at least in part for the great demand for federal aid to education I shall not attempt to discuss such aid as part of this talk but I believe the people of Chicago can be proud and happy that the Board of Education has not waited for the Federal Government to do something We have not waited for federal money to build schools we have not waited for federal money to pay our teachers we have not journeyed to Washington looking for a hand out Instead we have built buildings and we have paid our teachers because we believe that the people of Chicago want a good education for their children now not 3 5 or 10 years from now when the heavy machinery of Federal Bureaucracy may manage to move off of dead center It is easy to spend money if the people of a community are willing to provide it The real test is to spend tax money wisely most of you are businessmen You are entitled to know why we need so much money and how we are trying to be efficient in the expenditure of it There are three primary reasons why large sums of money are needed First is the well known factor of inflation Increased prices of raw materials means increased prices for school buildings Inflation means increased salaries for teachers Inflation also means increased costs for all the maintenance service janitorial services administrative services etc which support the educational program in our schools The second basic reason why the Board of Education needs and will continue to need more money is the phenomenal growth in the number of school age children In Chicago we increase 15 000 each year How many children are 15 000 children Well let me put it this way In 6 years Chicago s public school population has increased by an amount equal to the total school population of Milwaukee and Milwaukee is the 15th largest city in America At minimum costs we would need approximately 15 million per annum just to supply the new classroom seats for these 15 000 additional children per annum That 15 million would be a capital expenditure and does not represent any of the increased costs of maintenance or teaching services for the additional 15 000 children per annum Our school population is suffering also from double shift As of today there are approximately 22 000 children on double shift This means they are receiving half of the educational program to which they are entitled To remove these 22 000 children from double shift would cost another 22 million in capital expenditure alone The final point to remember in the growth of our school population is the over whelming fact that it is growing faster and faster with each passing year Children already born in the city of Chicago will be applying for admission to our schools at a rate which guarantees no let up in the growth of our school population for the next 5 years The rate at which families are moving into Chicago from other parts of the country further guarantees the fact that our school population will continue to rise for the foreseeable future These are the most important reasons why your schools need more money but I want you to realize that we are saving money at a time we are asking for increased sums We are saving money first by efficient utilization of the school plant and by equalization of the pupil load wherever possible without hardship to children Boundaries have been adjusted upper grade

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/the-problems-of-education-in-chicago (2015-03-27)
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