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Letter to Dr. Kevin McCann on the Teaching of Science and Mathematics.

December 30, 1957

[Released December 30, 1957. Dated December 26, 1957]

Dear Kevin:

I was greatly heartened by the news about your area conference on the teaching of science and mathematics.

In the circumstances of this time we naturally tend to emphasize the need for expansion and improvement in our science and mathematics programs. But in no way do we ignore the constant need and the permanent values of general education that enriches our working lives and that enables us to be better citizens of the Republic and the world. The dynamic drive for better schools and better education will come from men and women--representing all the aspects of American life--sitting down together, studying the problems that confront them, working out practical solutions, turning to government only for that which they themselves cannot accomplish at all or so well.

In that spirit, I am sure, you meet on The Defiance College Campus to examine the problems of science and mathematics teaching in your own area. Close to the realities of the situation there, representing a cross-section of all its interests and activities, listening to able professional counsel, you will make judgments that are practical and sound. Out of your meeting will come, I am confident, advantage and profit and improvement to all American schools.

My congratulations to you for your initiative in organizing this conference and my best wishes to you for great success.



Note: This letter was addressed to Dr. Kevin McCann, President of Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio. The White House release included an announcement that "on Monday, December 30th, educators, businessmen, industrial and labor leaders from western Ohio will attend a Conference on Science and Mathematics Teaching at The Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio. They will examine the science and mathematics situation in the high schools there and the area's short term and long term potential for the correction of shortages discovered.

"The short term potential includes part-time people loaned by industry to the schools, audio-visual aids to supplement present teaching, and the like. The long term potential is in the high school students not now planning to go to college or going to college with no fixed objective in mind, who can be aroused into a commitment that they will enter college as candidates for science and mathematics teaching."

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Dr. Kevin McCann on the Teaching of Science and Mathematics. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234069

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