MAY 18, 1962
WALTHAM, Mass. —California seems to be a place where there are always some people who have time to think about new ideas. When I recently spoke in Santa Cruz, on Monterey Bay, I mentioned the fact that if we hoped to lead the non-Communist countries of the world, and even persuade the neutrals to think there might be values that required study in our democratic philosophy, then we must make every effort to understand the peoples we are trying to lead. As a result, I have now been sent some interesting information, which visitors to Santa Cruz may want to look into, and so I quote from the communication here:
"As you have so well said, we must know the people we lead, in order to develop a genuine interest in them and a proper respect for their beliefs, their traditions and their cultures.
"This was the thought we had in mind in 1956 when we began our search for a suitable location for a little world community of our own to which millions of our fellow Americans might be drawn to learn more about the peoples of other lands.
"Although we felt then that the culmination of our dream would be very much in the national interest we did not plan, nor do we now intend, to ask our government for subsidy or for financial assistance of any kind. The community will be self-supporting by the operation of a beautiful hotel and convention center, and by the sale of fine imports in the shops of International Village.
"We have been most fortunate in securing exactly the location we needed, at Santa Cruz, and have been doubly fortunate in enlisting the assistance of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation architects in designing the buildings which would be appropriate to our purpose.
"The official interest of our government is weighted heavily on the side of our own exports. Consequently, a great deal of effort must be made by someone in the encouragement of imports if our foreign friends are to have the dollars with which to make the Common Market work for us all."
It seems to me that an international village of this kind might really bring some interesting knowledge of other parts of the world to people in our country. If this experiment is successful in Santa Cruz, other communities might try to set up projects of this kind, which would give small-business opportunities to people in other parts of the world and at the same time be sources of information on the customs and habits and products from these areas of the world.
Since New York City must always remember that it is watched by other parts of the country, it is interesting to note that some agreement is coming about between the negotiators for the Board of Education and the United Federation of Teachers. The details have not yet been made public, but they do include wage increases for the city's 40,000 teachers. Mrs. Anna Rosenberg, chairman of the negotiating committee's five-member group, says that the "package deal" represented plenty of money.
There is no question in my mind that teachers all over the country should have higher salaries and that the status of the teacher should be looked upon as much more important than it is in most of our communities.
But, as we struggle with this situation, there are other problems that must not be forgotten. One of these problems that makes teaching difficult is the lack of appropriations for textbooks and library reference books. Many teachers complain that though they put in their requisitions far in advance for textbooks the books arrive sometimes as much as six months late in our metropolitan schools.
We all know that school libraries never have an adequate number and variety of reference books to cover the studies of the students. This is particularly true at the high-school level when the students get a variety of outside-reading assignments. Such assignments are hardly fair when the school library is deficient in books and when often the village, town and even the city library may not have the facilities for the young people's use.
Thus, in our interest in one phase of improving education we must not forget the other things that enter into making it possible for a teacher to teach successfully.
(Copyright, 1962, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 18, 1962
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
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