President Eisenhower during his Presidency.

The National Defense Education Act was signed on September 2, 1958. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower felt that it was essential to strengthen the American education system. In the end, it was also implemented to meet the basics of an elevated national security. This act was an attempt raise the literacy of our nation, so that Americans could comprehend the increasing technology of the day. Eisenhower believed that, a plan such as this would help society as a whole and suffice its needs. Unfortunately, the President knew this plan would not be sufficient. As the New York Times wrote, “He said it would not do all that was necessary in a scientific world.” President Eisenhower also knew though, that something had to be done none-the-less.

Critical Issue

The National Defense Education Act stimulated $877,000,000. When quoted on the bill Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “This act, which is an emergency undertaking to be terminated after four years, will in that time do much to strengthen or American system of education so that it can meet the broad and increasing demands imposed upon it by considerations of basic national security.” The bill revolved around student loans and fellowships. Primarily, these loans were reserved for prospective college teachers. Also the states received funding students and equipment in the science, math, and foreign language fields. In return, the states were obligated to deposit $405,000,000 over the course of the program. These loans ranged from $1,000 to $5,000. This borrowed money was to be repaid after the student had graduated. The parameters included a ten year pay period with a 3% interest rate.
An example of the technological research done.

Conclusion/Historical Significance

Eisenhower felt that, “While the Congress did not see fit to provide a limited number of national defense scholarships which I recommended as an incentive to our most promising youth, I consider this act to be a sound and constructive piece of legislation.” This was a bill that, from the beginning, was known to be insufficient. President Eisenhower proclaimed, “Much remains to be done to bring American education to levels consistent with the needs of our society.” With this lingering over legislation, another thought also arose, it was needed. America was well on its way to becoming a world super power. She was now competing with other countries to pioneer innovative techniques. Students were unable to learn if the were restricted by cost; this bill sought to fix that dilemma.[1]

References (2009-10.1.2.K Alyssa Brown & Adam Dorzinski)

  1. ^ "EISENHOWER CITES SCHOOL FUND NEED :Signs 877 Million Aid Bill, but Says It's Not Enough -- Billion for Works. " New York Times (1857-Current file) 3 Sep. 1958,ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006), ProQuest. Web. 4 Nov. 2009.