GOVERNMENT, at whatever level, has no more important responsibility than education. At this time when our cities, towns, the States, and the Nation, are making and must make intensive efforts to improve the quality of education for all our people and give special attention to all those for whom adequate opportunity has been denied, I am pleased to announce the nomination of Dr. James E. Allen, Jr., as Assistant Secretary for Education and U.S. Commissioner of Education.
For the past 13 years, Dr. Allen has served with distinction in New York State as Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York, one of the most highly regarded and comprehensive educational posts in the Nation. In this position, he has had general responsibility for all levels of education in that State from preschool to graduate school, public and private, involving more than 5 million students. As the highest educational official in the Government, Dr. Allen will play a leading role in shaping the policies and plans of this administration for the support and improvement of education in the Nation.
The Federal responsibility for education and training has been growing and must continue 'to grow. Dr. Allen will bring to his task experience and commitment commensurate with the importance which I, as President, attach to the role of education at the Federal level. Dr. Allen will assume his position as soon as he can fulfill his obligations in New York State, and will join the Department [of Health, Education, and Welfare] no later than May 1.