"Does the Russian education system pose a threat to us? It does, indeed"
RICKOVER'S CRUSADE Why an Admiral Is Disturbed By Our Schools BY WILLIAM McGAFFIN Washington Bureau Sluff WASHINGTON Rear Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the atomic submarine, recently has been proclaiming with missionary zeal the need for us to reform and improve our school system. . Why is a military man so interested in education? Does the Russian education system pose a threat to us? It does, indeed, according to Rickover "a greater threat than the Russian military machine." This is so, in his opinion, because the Russian education system "has the s e e d, s for great mili- Rickover tary, scientific and industrial strength." The United States is in the position today where it has to 'borrow scientific talent from Europe," said Rickover. AND SO, while the Admiral's job today Is to develop a nuclear navy for the United States, he is doing a lot of talking about education. He feels it is the responsibility of people in public life today to do this. A white-haired man of medium height, in a double-breasted blue suit, Rickover was interviewed in the battered temporary office building near 17th and Constitution where he works. He was born in Russia 58 years ago and brought up In Chicago where his father, Abraham Rickover, was a poor tailor. He went to grammar school in Chicago and was graduated in 1914. "I thought I knew everything then," he recalled. "Since then, the amount I know has progressively decreased." AFTER FINISHING at Chicago's John Marshal High School, Rickover went to the Naval Academy and was graduated in 1922. "What advice do you have for June graduates?" he was asked. ''For the June graduates of grammar school, I would tell them it is too late," he answered. "They should com of y plain to their parents for not seeing to it that they get a proper education." Some high-school students have begun to realize they are "being short - changed," according to Rickover. And some parents are writing him for advice on where they can move to, so as to insure a good education for their children. RICKOVER said there are some good elementary and secondary schols in America "but most of them are private schools." He complained that "because of the excessive play on democracy in our schools" we are developing an undemocratic system. The rich man can send his child to a private school. The poor man's child, however, is often barred from mental growth because he has to go to a public school where he is forced into an "intellectual strait-jacket" tor the sake of "democratic equalitarianism," the Admiral said. Rickover criticized our school system which "insist on the same Instruction for the talented, the average, and the below-average child." He is equally disturbed because our system in the last 50 years has gone overboard for the "Dewey and Kil-patrick philosophy" and teaches children "how to get along" instead of developing their intellect. "Who pave our teachers the right to do that?" Rickover demanded. HE SAID the Russian education system is really the European system as taught on the Continent and in England, and is based on 2,500 years of experience going back to Greece and Rome. The advantages of the European system, he said, is that "Europea'n children know as much at age 17 as ours know three years later." The only hope he sees of Improving our education system is to "break the hold th professional educators have on it."