The National Defense Education Act Essay

The National Defense Education Act Essay

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Arnove and Graff characterize national literacy campaigns as, "involv[ing] the mobilization of large numbers of learners and teachers by centralizing authorities, who have used elements of both compulsion and social pressure to propagate a particular doctrine" (591-2). They also state that literacy campaigns are in most instances, triggered by some type of "profound, if not cataclysmic, triggering event" (593). In the U.S., a national literacy campaign has followed in response to perceived threats both real and imagined, internal and external numerous times. For example, on October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite Sputnik I into space before the U.S., pricking national pride and calling into question the strength of U.S. technology. Democrats at the time, unable to gather enough support in the Senate to pass their education bill, took advantage of public ire and added "defense" to the name to gain sympathy (U.S. Senate). In 1958, the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) became law, earmarking federal funding for advancing "science, math and foreign language" programs in colleges and universities, and supporting student success through low cost loans and expanding on campus services. (Turgut 65, U.S. Senate).
The 1960 's was a time of unrest and change. The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the ongoing Viet Nam War all marked the early years of Lyndon B Johnson 's presidency. Believing destitution the barrier to success, Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." Among other notable government assistance programs created during this time, the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA) of 1965 has had the longest impact on education in the U.S. Title I under ESEA gave federal assis...


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...forced ideology of the way a certain percentage of the elite believe that mathematics should be taught, disregarding the generations taught in the methods of the past. The problem is that the general population believe that the CCSS are the standards as presented by whichever state in which they reside, not as the guidelines they were meant to be. One of the problems with writing (and math) as a type of technology as mentioned by Ong, is that it is such an integral part of our lives that we take it for granted and, "that without tremendous effort we cannot separate it from ourselves or even recognize its presence and influence" (19) By introducing alternate methods of solving problems to children without educating the parents beforehand, the CCSS has, by Ong 's definition, made all parents "illiterate" in that they lack the necessary skill to solve modern math (19).

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