Although this speech was given in 1978, it could equally apply today. Tragically, his warning went unheeded, and nothing has changed.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am pleased to be with you today to discuss the importance of the School Food Service Program, not only as it relates to the destiny of our country but actually the future of the human race.
Tehyi Hsieh, a Chinese scholar, wrote, “Look at the nation’s schools, for there you will find its future in miniature.”
When we examine the situation in our schools, it does not portend a very hopeful or promising future for our country.
Performance as measured by the Scholastic Achievement Test (or so-called SAT Test) has declined persistently over the last several decades, and it continues to drop.
Truancy is on the rise. The National Institute of Education in a recent report notes that 25 percent of American schools (20,500) suffer from moderately serious to serious problems of vandalism, personal attack and thievery. The Institute estimates that in 1978 one out of every nine secondary school students will have something stolen in a typical month. It further estimates that one out of 80 students will be attacked during the same period. It is this situation that prompted HEW Secretary Califano to state that a student is safer on the streets than in the halls of our schools