Interview with Ragfield McGhee.
M: My home now is I am originally from Tallahassee.
F: How long have you been here?
M: I have been here since 1950.
F: How long have you been principal at Aiklen Jones?
M: One year it is a new school.
F: Is it a new school that they builf or one that they merged?
M: Itis a new school, a converged school.
F: Right, that is what I thought. WHat degree are you working on?
M: I am working on the EDS.
F: Education specialist. WHere did you do your undergraduate work?
M: I did my undergraduate work at Florida A & M University and my graduate work
at FLorida A & M.
F: You got your Masters of Education from A & M?
F: Then what were you doing before you became principal here?
M: I was principal at Archer Community School which is about fifteen miles
south west of here.
F: How long were you principal there?
M: FIve years.
F: I know that when I called you I thought that it was possibly your son because
I asked for Ragfield McGhee, Jr. That was a couple of weeks ago.
M: Yes, I do have a junior. He is at Johns Hopkins.
F: So, how is that project working over there?
M: It is working rather well, for one year's experience, you know, trial and
error. It is working well.
F: Is it going to be an on-going project?
M: Well, it is supposed to be a terminal project but it will most probably go on.
It s a federal project for.three years. I think that it is four years that they
usually stretch it. You can get a three year commitment with a possible
one year extension.
F: SO, how many quarters have you been doing graduate work here?
M: It has not been continuous. About five or six quarters or something like that.
F: I see. How much longer would you have?
M: I have quite a bit to do because let us say that I have forty-five hours.
F: You all ready have forty-five hours?
F: You have forty-five hours to take? How many hours have you had beyond the
M: I have had about 90 hours beyond the Masters. No, about 60 hours, I am sorry
I was thinking beyond the Bachelors.
F: I had difficulty adjusting to the quarter hours. I still think in semesters.
When did you finish work at A & M?
M: I finished Bachelors at A & M in 1947 and the Masters in 1957.
F: You were a school teacher in the interim?
M: Yes from 1947 through 1963. I taught Science, Biology, Chemistry, arid
Physics. Then I spent one year as Assitant Prinicipal at Midbane High School
F: Yes, I am familiar with that.
M: Then, of course, I was principal at the elementary school at Archer. I stayed
there five years. Then I have been here almost a year at Aiklen Jones
F: Actually with all of you school experience, this is actually the first time
that you have been in a white situation at the the University of Florida as
far as educationally?
M: No, I studied at the University of Illinios and I studied at Sacremento State
College but I have still done predominately more work here then anywhere else.
I started back here in 1959. I was in Science Institutes. I was in the
Biology Science Institute.
F: Here, at the University of Florida?
M: Yes, the Biology Science Institute, the Chemistry Institute and I was in a
Physics Institute at Sacremento State and a Chemistry Institute at the University
FY You must have been one of the first black students here then.
F: Do you know specifically if you were or not?
H: Yes, I know that I was in the first three. I think that I know exactly who the
very first one was.
F.: Who was that?
M: That was a lady by the name of Daphne Williams.
F: Was she in Education also? Do you remember?
M: It was either Education or Personnel Services
F: It was not the College of BDucation?
M: Yes, it was the College of Education.
F: In 1959?
M: Yes, I think that was in the spring of 1959. I think that they were on the
F: Yes, they were/
M: Then it must have been the second semester.
F: When did you come?
M: I came in the summer about June.
F: How did you get involved in that Science Institute?
M: Well, actually see, they are federally sponsred-. A lot of information would
come out and you could write to the Science Institute and get the information
because they would list the information as to what institutions at which these
Institutes were to be held. THen of course, you could write to these institutions
and get the necessary applications and so forth to apply.
M: I applied here and probably ten other places and I got accepted at five or more
place but this was the natural place to stay home and go to school at the same
F: WHat were you doing then?
M: I was actively teaching science then.
F: I am trying to get my chronology straight. When you came to that Institue in
1959 what were you doing?
M: I was teaching.
M: At LIncoln High School.
F: Obviously, those kind of programs must have existed before then and black
teachers had access to applying to those kind of things. DO you know that
to be so?
M: This w1e the first time that one wasbffered here that I was interested in.
I can not say that this waa exactly the first one but it was the first one
that I was interested in. Of course, they did exist in institutions before
that time because I applied.
F: At other schools other then the University of Florida.
M: Yes, out of state. I applied to the University of North Carolina and probably
one or two others that I was not accepted at. SO, I know that they existed at
least one year before that time.
F: Were you not accepted because you were black?
M: I do not really know but I sort of felt that way. I felt that way because there
was nobody could have been in any greater need then I was. Of course, they
have their stipulations that they accept so many people from their home state
first. THen of course, they may just have a stipulated number that they accept
from out-of-state. I am pretty certain that they could not have found anyone
in any more need then I was because after all I did not go to a great college.
So, I needed the upgrading and the updating and so forth and the training
at that time. THis was just two years after Sputnik and things were really
hot then. I felt that I really needed that new imput to myself. I tried real
hard but of course I did not get accepted.
F: How was it when you came here?
M: When I came here it was rather cool but I did meet some very good people in the
class. I think that I met one fellow from Miami and I never will forget him.
He was the only fellow in the class basically that I had a chance to associate
with. There were two ladies in the class one was from southern Georgia both
of them were from southern Georgia. I happened to have known their brother who
was a faculty member here. I knew their brother from some other civic work
that we had been doing. Once they found out that I knew their brother then
we got along very well. They helped to make me feel at ease because it was
not easy. Nobody bothered me. Nobody did anything either way or the other.
I did not hold that against anyone because I was a full grown adult and I was
supposed to be able to make it on my own. I had been around all adults both
black and white and I figured that I could make it on my own. Still you need
that kind of fellowship to get along sometimes. Usually, when we would have a
break of something, if those two ladies were not present or around then I
was left pretty much alone. If this one fellow would happen to be there then
I would have someone to talk to. He would come by the house sometimes and
we would go on field trips, collecting specimens together. For a long time
after that we exchanged Christmas cards. It happened that I was on vacation
two or three summers ago and we were fixing to go to Nassau and guess who was
the first person that I saw when I landed? It was he. WHen I landed in Nassau,
I was on one ship and he was on another. Just as he walked down, we met. I
had not seen him since that time in 1959 until three years ago.
F: How is it that you developed this special rapport with this one person?
M: Well, he may have sensed that I was being left alone pretty much. He was just
a friendly outgoing individual. I believe that somehow earlier in the quarter
we were assigned as lab partners which would mean that we would have to do
classification and collections together. I believe that it was strictly
a lab situation in the lab. We would have probably become friends without
that because he was just outgoing and we had lots of fun together.
F: What did he do in Miami?
M: At that time he was teaching the same courses that I was teaching in high school.
F: What is he doing now, do you know?
M: I do not know. I can only remember his last name but I believe that I have
papers with his first name on it. I aan only remember his last name. I think
that his last name was Jay J-A-Y but I can not remember his first for some
reason or another.
F: I feel very fortunate in getting you in here to talk because having that
experience more then ten years ago here. Now, being back at school do you
feel any real differences?
M: Difference in terms of improvement?
F: Just anyway that you want to say it. Because you are oneof the few people that
was here *long enough ago to be able to do that. Maybe there are not any
changes but I wanted your impressions.
M: I do believe that there are changes. I will describe one-kind of change that
I am talking about. When I first came, I got this impression that I was the
only one in the class and I was the only one that I saw about practically.
That summer that I was in school I bet you that I did not see three more black
faces on campus. They may have been here but I did not see them. I got to
thinking that I was s special case because it seemed that everything that I did
F: Like what?
M: For instance, if I wanted to talk too much in class it was tolerated. Well,
that one thing stands out in my mind. Sometimes, I would notice in the same
class that they would say well let us not talk too much let us get on with
the business, but I never got that rebuff. I was allowed to say what I
wanted to say. I got the idea that I was being tolerated because I was, because
I also had the impression that I was thought of as a special case. Of course,
it is not so any more so this is the changethat I was talking about. THey
will tell me to hush just as quick as they will anyone else. I just remember
that as one of the outstanding things. I remember another case. I went over
to the College cafeteria and it was not under the auspices of Servomation then.
I think that it was just College period, College Food Services or something
like that. I would go in every day at noon to ealand I was milling through the
line with more or less the institute people nothing was said but if in the
afternoon I was out studying at the library or some special little bull session
with some of the other fellows, maybe committee work or maybe a special lab
I forgot which it was. Anyway, I would go in for a little snack. When I came
and as I went up through the line the man there gave me the impression that he
did not think that I belonged there and that I did not know where I belonged.
So, he asked me, "Who do you want to see?"
F: This is in the line at the cafeteria?
M: Yes. He asked me, "Who did I want to see?" I said, "I do not want to see any-
body. I want to get something to eat." go, then he looked at me real strange,
sort of double-take sort of thing and said, "Well, if you want to see some-
body then you came come around the counter and go back where the other black
people are working." I said, "I do not want to see a soul. I told you that I
want something to eat." So, he did not want to obligate himself by saying
well you can not eat here unless you are a student. I am putting the words I
do not remember exactly what he said. Just to put him at ease I pulled out my
identification card add he said, "Fine, fine, I am very sorry, just go right
ahead." I said, No harm done, I know how it is. DO not worry about it."
So, then I went ahead and got what I needed to get and left. There is another
case where I think that there has been a terrific change. No such thing happens
now. I came here in 1959 and then in 1960 I came back to a Chemistry Institute
and then I came back that Winter quarter for an in-service Biology Institute.
Then I discontinued and I went to California and Illinios. Then the first
resident course that I took here was just about four years ago. After hhat
brief eriod of Institutes here, I had taken some off-campuse courses which
were under the auspices of the University of Florida but I had not taken any
resident courses that I can remember right now. I took a course in School
Finance which is something that I think all school people should know. I took
it about four years ago and this is the first on-campuse that I had taken.
Of course, many blacks had come to the Institution by that time. I was always
off the campus I had lots of friends. When I was teaching in the Science
Department, CHemistry, Biology, Physics, Animal Hisbandry, everything because
you meet all of those people. I got to know lots of them so I was always on
the campus I knew my way around campus. I never really felt a stranger because
even when I came to these first INstitutes, I had been coming on campus
borrowing equipment and stuff to teach with. I just felt the lack of engagement
with other people that everybody else seemed to be enjoying, but I did not feel
to badly about it.
F: Do you really think that things are a good bit different then they were ten
M: I think that they are. They are different in that more people feel differently.
More, not all people, feel different. So, therefore, it is not very #~ WX
difficult to have friends if you are in a class. FOr instance, I am in a class
right now in which I happen to be the only make in the class. It is a
class in Reading Research. I am the only male person in there. I have
friends among the ladies and we talk and we have lunchduring the period and so
forth. I think that it is quite different. People are not thinking like they
use to think.
F: Do you think that is justa or all the people probably working on
their Masters Degrees?
M: Not all of those peoplefn there are working on advanced degrees some of them
are in undergraduate school.
F: I was thinking that the people that you come in contact with are not really
a cross section of the University. They are all at least graduate students
with most working on a Specialist or a Doctorate.
M: Well, it is very difficult to say that. I come in contact with a lot of
University students on the undergraduate level becuase a lot of them come in
there for practicums and observations and so forth. I had one who came in
today and wanted to do about ten hours of observation. So, I come in contact
with them a lot of them one way or the other. I find that they are all human
beings struggling like I am and trying to get their degree and soforth. I
still can not say that I am engaged in classes much with undergraduates
because most of the courses that I take are 600 level.
F: That is what I thought. THose are the people that you chiefly come in contact
F: Can you think of anything that you would like to see that should be different
M: I would like to see a whole lot more black professors, and other kinds of
administrators, you know., in the institution. I think that it is not going
to be the institution that it could be for blacks until there is a reasonable
number of black faces in all capacities on campus. Just like when you go
downtown, I do not feel that downtown is down town for me. When I go there,
nintey-nine aad ninety- nine per cent of the people down there who are engaged
are white. So, I do not think that anything downthere belongs to me in terms
of friends and what not although some of them are very friendly and very nice.
THe same thing is here. THe atmosphere is not quite right in terms of people
and the variety of types of faces that you could possibly see. I understand
that they are getting one professor in the Law School. I do not think that
they had any other professors in any other of the schools that I know of.
Do you see what I am talking about?
FY Why do you think that is?
M: Well, they are not plentiful number one. Number two, they can get a better
salary in many other places they they can at Florida. For instance, I was
talking with one fellow at FLorida State. No, I was talking with the President
of Florida A & M.
F: What is his name?
M: His name is B. L. Perry, Jr. I said to him, he is a little bit my senior, but
he and I were Sunday School pals. His father taught our class and sometimes I
taught the class and sometimes B.L. would teach the class and sometime his
father taught the class. I said, "B.L., what are you offering a fresh Ph.D.?"
I was not worried about his classification but what salary he was offering.
He said, "Well, this past year I offered something like $10,500."
F: Is that for nine.months?
M: Yes, I am sure that was the minimal year. He said, "Next year We will offer
somewhere between $11,500 and $,2,000."
F: This is at Florida A & M?
M" I said, "Do you know that I have teachers that you could not hire who have
Masters at that salary unless they just wanted to teach in a college."
So, he said, Yes, I know that."
F: You haveteachers?
M: When I say teachers, I mean teachers that work under me in the Labotory
F: Are they making more then that?
M: They do not vastly approach that type of money. They make close to $11,000,
F: Is that right? Well, from what you are telling me A & M has higher salaries
then the University of Florida.
M: For a beginning Ph.D. the UNiversity of Florida pays what?
F: Between $10,000 and $12,000. It would depend on the field. About that in most
fields, the College of Education, this College something like that.
M: Well, anyway, the school must be paying more then the college that is the only
conclusion that I can come to. I just asked him because the President of
the local alumni association here and we were about to engage in talking to
our legislators and so forth. We know that other white colleges pay better
then Florida A & M and therefore we know by interpertation that he can not
get as good because these same people that are available will go to these other
black colleges and we will only get second rate people.
F: How are you going to get other people here?
M: Well, they will just have to bid for them. I think that is they make an honest
effort that they could get them. THat is all there is to it. For instance,
my brother who had his Doctorate in Law. I understand that they had written
to him and were enquiring about him.
M: Yes. I do not believe that they could hire him at the salary that he could
make if he practised law. I dothink that they could hire him. THey have got
to get up there on that money.
F: No, Mr. Perry that seems to be automatically what he would say for a fresh Ph.D.
just straight out of graduate school be paying between $10,500.
M: Noj I think that it is going to be between 10,500 and 12,000 and hoping to
up that salary by $1,000 to $1,500.
F: It would seem then that A & M is paying more then here.
M: Well, I suppose that is a function of the fact that the Ph. Ds that he can get
can get more other places so that he has to be at his best. Where this
institution does not have to be at its very best to get good people. He is really
straining his guts trying to get somebody.
F:- Then is he financed by the legislature?
F: Are they allowed to do that?
M: I do not know about that. THe thing is done on a per student basis. So many
thousand of dollars perktudent and that is the end of it. If you do not get
it ifndowments, grants and salaries then you are out of there.
F: You are saying then that they must have some outside source.
M: Well, I imagine the Carrin Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the General Motors
Foundation and so forth. I imagine that all of them give some aid and what not.
The Alumni Association I imagine and they are getting all sorts of company
grants and so forth. I imagine 'that they operate nn a budget of about 15 to
20 million. I am certain that itis not 20 million but somewhere around 15
or 16 million dollars. Of course, that is probably all state funds.
F: Let me ask you this then. Would you suggest the the University of Florida
pay substantially more to get black professors then they would for white professors?
M: I do not know how economically feasible that sounds to me. I am thinking that
is a way to get them.
F: It would seelike the only way.
M: For instance, if I had a Doctorate now in Chemistry. I could go into industry
for $22,500 to $25,000. THe UNiversity of FLorida would offer a fresh Ph.D.
in fact the University of FLorida lost one of its best possible fresh Ph.D.
Chemistry teachers good man because of that same thing. He was an exceedingly
good teacher. I think that they must have been paying him something like
$14,e~eand he got a job out of state at $20,000 just like that. Out he
went and he was an excellent teacher, I know becuase he taught me. I know a
good teacher when I see one. He is an excellent teacher and they are rare.
I mean that a guy with a Doctorate just can not teach any more in Science. I
do not know how you find it in the University College but in Sciences after
those guys get their Ph. D. they are not interested in teaching they are interested
in research. So, they do their teaching as a matter of form. THis guy was a
born teacher but he could not get any money. I think that he was interested
in higher positions and so forth. I think that is something that the University
is going to have to do. THis is the way that I would do it if I were the one
doing it. I would support differentiating standards where if I got a man and
he ahs great potential and good training and he can do what I want done then
I would pay him accordingly. THen of course, if it is a man who is qualified
but not necessarily great then I would make him an offer to take it or leave
F: Let us say that the University of Florida is paying $10,500 for new Ph.D. s
for the fall term. Now, it would seem that a black Ph. D. could go to
Michigan State, Ohio State and get $16,000. Let us say that is the market.
THe University of Flroida says that our hands are tied what can we do?
Do you suggest that they pay that higher figure?
M: I think that I would be inclined to say yea. Because they are paying $5,000
but I think that they are getting they are also buying a type of atmosphere
in which their students can operate. It is good for whites too, I am not saying
that it is only good for black students.
F: I agree and I think that there is a need for more black administrators and black
professors. THere is also another atmosphere that would be created.
M: What is that?
F: Well, the white professor who was hired at $10,500 that knows that the guy in
the next office is making $5,000 more then he for exactly the same job.
M: Yes. In one case like that, I was talking with a lady that was working at
New YorkUniversity. She was hired and she was very outstanding and she was
hired in her field. She was completely inexperienced as a college teacher.
So, they hired her as a the highest professorial rank that they could get
but they also attached some kind of extra title. WHat did they do. She said
that she was professor with some sort of attachment to her name which indicated
that she was something extra. In other words, the other fellow would aay
that I have equal training but I do not have equal experience.
F:( Well, I think that would apply in certain cases in a goodly number. It is pretty
much the same and they see that the guy is teaching at mostly the same level
and had the same number of publications. Most of the people would realize
that it was the same but the guy was getting $5,000 more.
M: Well, there is another thing that comes into this. I do not really know how
interested black professors are in coming to a university like the University
of Florida. The University of Florida has not been notorious for its liberal
behavior. I do not know how many of them are interested. THere was a fellow
here about two years ago who was just a visiting professor at the Law School.
I understand that they literally ran him away.
F: THAT is how it was reported.'
F: That is compounding the problem the idea that not only can the University of
FLorida not compete in salary but the black professors do not want to come.
THere is a real need for black professors. WHat would you suggest?
M: I would suggest probably that they may not hire them at that level of training.
They could be teachers and instructors other then a Doctorate or Ph.D. I would
suggest that they hire as many of them as they could at that rate. In fact,
now you have some out there that are very excellent teachers who never will get
and have notidea of ever getting a Doctorate degree. THey are very excellent
English teachers, elementary education, or social studies teachers. I know
some very excellent social studies teachers. I know some very excellent math
F: THese are people at the Masters level who could come here as insturctors?
F: Would they also be taking a cut in salary?
M: I do not know if the differential is great there.
F: You said that you have people with Masters making $11,000.
M: Well, I am saying that this is the tops for them. So, if they could come
here. FOr instance, let us take a teacher who has been teaching for 15
years. She had been teaching math for 15 years. She is married and has a
relatively young family. She would probably come in and teach at a college
then be bored all day long at a high-school.
F: What would she be making?
M: If she had a Masters degree.
F: Not 15 years let us say about eight to ten years experience.
M: She would probably be making $10,100 or something like that.
F: What would she be making if she had eight?
M: About $10,000.
F: It does not seem that the administration does not have the idea of hiring
people at the instructor level with Masters degrees. It seems like these
people in the public schools with Masters degress are making as much as
beginning Ph.D. are making here.
M: It could be. Believe it or not it is a much more difficult joD in the public
F: I would be the first to agree with that. Nevertheless, let us say that even
without a decent salary that people would be willing to come because it is an
easier life and some people would be willing to take a salary cut.
M: I think that probably their best bet would be to grab off these more or less.
Well, let us say that here is a kid who comes out and teaches two years.
THen he comes back and spends a year in getting his Masters. He has some
experience and he does not have a job to leave so there would be a good
F: Yes, these 26 or 27 year old people who have had experience and their Masters.
M: Yes, and they do not have too much responsibility. Now, I could not afford to
take any cut in salary. My obligations are too much. I know a fellow out
there now, a good fellow, a black boy, just graduated from here probably in
NOvember. He is teaching junior college and I believe that the junior college
salary is like this salary.
F: Yes, they are comparable for the most part.
M: I think that they really wanted him.
F: Do you know any black instructor who would be interested in college teaching?
Some one who would sort of fit into that category?
M: I think that this gentlman that we are talking about would.
F: What is his field?
M: His field is, I think that he got his Masters in Political Sciense and then
he is in Black Studies.
F: The administration says here that they want more people but they just can not
find them. Why do you not get some of these people to apply here?
M: I have to sort of go along with them. Well, it has not been that much interest
to recruit for them, you know what I mean. I would help where I could. I
could not interest my brother too much. But I understand like you say the
salaries vary from field to field and I know that there is a young fellow
who is in graduate school in Political Science and I think that he taught a
quarter last year. Of course, he is not ready yet preparation wise, he is
not ready yet. I think that probably he would be one of the first that the
University would hire. He has all ready taught here and now he is back in
school. It just has not eccured to me. THe only recruiting that I do is to
recruit for -A & M. I know just how weak that they are. Of course, they are improving
greatly. They are sending a goodly number of their potential Ph.D.s students
over to Florida State on some kind of exchange something.
F: Florida A & M does not have any Ph.D. programs?
M: No, no Ph.D. programs. THey have very limited Masters programs.
F: Yes, that is what I thought. Ican see your dedication to Florida A & M.
you do feel that more faculty here is very important for both the blacks
and the whites here.
M: What I am saying in a word is that the all ready established white universities
in the state of Florida are the universities. Let us face it. The students
who are coming out of high-school and are going straight for their Doctorates
or their medical degrees or their law degrees are coming into the white
universities. LEt us face it. THose that are going to terminate with a
Masters degree or teaching degree will continue to go on to A & M for a long
long time to come. But those who are going on into, who really want to make
their training main stream are going into the white universities, Florida
Atlantic, University of Florida, so forth. That is the way that I see it.
So, therefore, I am saying that the University needs to make way in terms of
atmosphere. I am not saying that I think that there is anything wrong with
the kind of training that they give anyone who comeshere at this institution
right now. I am only saying that atmosphere counts.
F: I think that it counts very decidedly. In fact, most black students that I have
talked to have had this feeling of lonliness and not being able to talk to
anybody just because this person is black. I think that makes a lot of
sense. I think that we have got a real dilema here. I do not imagine that
we have come even close to solving it. DO you have any other suggestions?
M: Well, I think that probably there is still a core of teachers, professors,
and so forth, who are still pretty much in left field in their feelings about
black students, black people for that matter. I think that probably the
University is going to have to address itself to that in some way. I do not
have any suggestions how. They are going to have to address themselves to
that in some way or the other because they are still with us and this is a
state university. Since it should be in a position to offer to all people who
qualify equal empathy.
F: Let me ask you one more question. As far as talking mainly about getting more
black professors and administrators, and the problem of getting more black
students. The administrators said that they have let any one in that meets
the minimun qualifications and that a minimum number of black students do
that for whatever reason. WHat kind of suggestions would you make there?
M: I would suggest that they recruit a little differently. I think tha4they are
right now recruiting more of the high claibre students. NOw if the lower
calibre student comes along and wants to qualify, I think that they will
qualify. I do not think that they have made any motions to get to that
average student that is out there-
F: Well, they talk about anyone that has a 2.0 average in high-school and a
300 Senion Placement Test is qualified.
M: Yes, and that is a hell of a lot of qualifying.
F: You are saying that is an awful lot to ask of people.
M: Now, in the next five yearsthat will not be "PS" for the average black
student coming out of high-school. See, the average black student that is
coming out of high-school this year has had about four years of relatively
average education, seventh, eight, ninth, and tenth grades. The average kid
who is coming out of high-school this year has had his last one or two or
three years in a bonified high-school. But that does not help him very much
with the first four years getting his foundation. The kids that come out in
the next five years they will of had as far as you can go backlo six to
seven. They will of had all of their education in an integrated situation
since 1967. That would be eight years of education.
F: What would you suggest now for these students that are applying now for the
Fall of 1970?
M: I would suggest one thing. THe institution might offer to those students who
want to enter who do not have the qualifications a summer kind of program.
Let them come in in the summer and spend the whole summer and get strength in
their weaknesses. Then put them into a FReshman course and they will make
it because if they ara that determined they will study hard enough and make it
through. I think that is one thing that they could do. Another thing that
they could do is work on the teachers that would be turning them out so that
they would have a greater amount of empathy for a student who still does not
have that four year background.
F: Do you think that at this point they ought to have different standards for
entering blacks then entering white students?
M: No, I do not think that they should particluarly have different standards.
I think that probably they should just forget about the idea of how long it
takes a student to graduate. So, they say o.k. you want to come in so just
come on in and when you qualify for a degree then we will give it to you.
You see, rather than say 300 and a 2.0 average. That is a heck of a note.
A student would say that I do not have 300 nor can I make a 2.0 average.
F: Do you think that would let lots of them in?
M: I think that they ought to start them over the summer program first. Say look
we will test you and we will find your points of weakness and give you eight
weeks of intensive training. THen we will examine you and the chances are
that they would make that 300 then and then forget about the average. I think
that the 300 is a valid criteria.
F: What were you going to say about the average?
M: I say forget about the average becuase it really does not mean much anyway.
THe test and the average can not both be the criteria. ONe or the other of
them is the criteria. If he has a 2.0 average then he would be very close
to the 300 and if he has the 300 then the chances are that he would be above
the 2.0. If he does not have one or the other of them, then one of them should
be the criteria. That is what I am saying. So, I am saying that if you are
really interested in getting them in. Say then that it looks like you are
borderline right now you come on up and take eight weeks of training and we
will administer the high-school exam again at the end of the summer. I tell
you that the biggest thing wrong with the students are that they are under-
read. It would probably be a program like extensive reading with some emphasis
in English development and language skill and usually they goof off in math-
and science in high-school. You know how high-schools are they only require
one unit or two of this and the kid just sits through that and he gets out
of there with a C minus or a D plus but there is not learning involved it is
just sitting through. SO, then he wakes up and he may even be good in the
field and says that I would sure like to develop myself in that field. He
can not make it because he can not make the score. So those are some of the
things that I would suggest.