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February 1, 2003
Vol. 60
No. 5

ASCD Community in Action

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The Year ASCD Became ASCD: 1943

In February 1943, the world was at war. Public schools in the United States faced massive teacher shortages, and school construction and maintenance lagged because of war shortages. Nonetheless, larger percentages of students than ever before had the opportunity to attend secondary school. Students had been taking the SAT for two years as an entrance assessment for college admission. Some educators were hailing the “life adjustment movement” and academic tracking as revolutionary new ways to engage unmotivated students and provide appropriate education for all.
Into this environment of uncertainty and change came the new Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, formed to create a community of educators forging covenants in teaching and learning for the success of all learners. Educational Leadership was born along with the new association, and its early issues reflected the new ideas then shaping education.
To celebrate our 60th anniversary, each issue in 2003 will look at selected events in the world and in the pages of Educational Leadership.

In the World

  • In war news, German forces surrendered at Stalingrad in February. That same month, the Japanese were forced to evacuate Guadalcanal in the first test of land strength between Japan and the United States. (<LINK URL="http://www.euronet.nl">www.euronet.nl</LINK>)
  • Joe DiMaggio traded his annual Yankee salary of $43,500 for $50 a month as a U.S. Army enlisted man. (<LINK URL="http://BaseballLibrary.com">BaseballLibrary.com</LINK>)
  • The U.S. population was 136,739,353; unemployment in the United States was 1.9 percent; and the cost of a first-class stamp was 3 cents. (<LINK URL="http://www.infoplease.com/year/1943.html">www.infoplease.com/year/1943.html</LINK>)

In Educational Leadership

The inaugural issue of Educational Leadership, which came out in October 1943, asserted in its statement of purpose thatThe hope of American education, perhaps the hope of America itself, lies in the fullest possible development and utilization of the capacity for leadership throughout its total ranks.
Reflecting the world conflict that dominated the lives and thoughts of educators, the theme of the first issue was “Teaching in Wartime.”
Eleanor Roosevelt contributed the lead article, “It's Patriotic to Teach.” She reassured teachers that the importance of their profession justified staying at their posts unless they were called into the armed forces. She wrote,Frequently we haven't given the teachers the honor or the consideration which is due them, and we do not even give them the financial compensation which I think they should receive.
  • Were left more on their own;
  • Had more responsibilities at home and worked more at paid jobs, such as selling papers or working in stores;
  • Did more of the family buying because working mothers had little time to go to stores; and
  • Seemed to be more careful and less wasteful with school supplies.
In “What We're Up Against,” Howard A. Dawson described the “serious and growing shortage of elementary and secondary school teachers,” primarily the result of teachers leaving the profession to join the armed forces or to work in war industries. Low teacher salaries undoubtedly contributed to the problem. According to Dawson, living costs had risen 20 percent during the past two years, whereas the average salaries of teachers had risen from $1,470 to about $1,500, and the average salaries of factory workers had increased from $1,649 to $2,043.
That's the way it was in 1943. Happy anniversary, ASCD!
—Information compiled by Deborah Perkins-Gough, Senior Associate Editor, Educational Leadership, and David Snyder, ASCD Reference Librarian.

Resources for Using Data to Improve Student Achievement

Two new ASCD products can help educators use data more effectively. In What Works in Schools, Robert J. Marzano provides research-based survey tools to help identify your school's strengths and weaknesses and implement an improvement plan (Stock no. 102271; ASCD Premium and Comprehensive Member book, 2003; $21.95, members; $25.95, nonmembers).
What Works in Schools Online Survey is a comprehensive tool for identifying improvement targets and assessing progress. The easy-to-use online format allows staff members to provide perceptual data and then tabulates responses and provides analytical reports (Stock no. 603001; prices begin at $599 per school; visitwww.whatworksinschools.org for more information).
Promoting Learning Through Student Data Professional Inquiry Kit by Marian Leibowitz can help your school turn data from test scores and portfolio evaluations into useful analyses for planning better programs and practices (Stock no. 999004; $189, members; $220, nonmembers).
The 2nd edition of Mike Schmoker's best-selling book, Results: The Key to Continuous School Improvement, focuses on evaluating and sustaining school improvement (Stock no. 199233; $16.95, members; $20.95, nonmembers).
In the Results Video Series, Schmoker shows a school district's successful reform efforts (Stock no. 401261; $326, members; $396, nonmembers), and the Results Fieldbook provides an up-close look at the successful strategies of winning school systems (Stock no. 101001; $20.95, members; $24.95, nonmembers).

Creating Safe Schools and Communities

Too many students do not have a safe place to go after school; too many feel unsafe getting to and from school; and too many—approximately 11 percent—have already dropped out of school. What can schools and communities do about these problems? ASCD, as a member of the Learning First Alliance (an alliance of leading education organizations), has joined with the National League of Cities and the National Collaboration for Youth (a coalition of more than 40 youth-serving organizations) to issue a position statement on how to ensure the safety and foster the academic success of children and young people.

Drawing on the Learning First Alliance's Safe and Supportive Schools publication and a report from the National Academy of Sciences on youth development, the statement challenges communities and schools to work together and with families to define the outcomes that they wish for their young people, create settings in which youth are successful, use data to measure progress, and hold themselves accountable for results. For the statement and information about resources, visitwww.lfa.org/news/jointposition.html.

End Notes

1 Mondale, S., &amp; Patton, S. B. (2001). School, the story of American public education. Boston: Beacon Press.

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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