Title: John Seay
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Ed Henderson---cont'd.

JOHN SEAY, Dep. Commissioner
of Education, Aug. 1, 1965-
July 31, 1972


H: Many people have thought that the junior college movement has received

solid support from the citizens of the state since it was started in

1947 as a public supported institution. This however is not true.

Many of our citizens felt that the junior colleges were too costly.

Many who were employed by the universities for some reason feared

that the junior college meovement might undermine attendance at the

universities. And during the fifties each session of the legislature

found opponents of a junior college movement making statements and

urging that the junior colleges be placed under the Board of Re-

gents or under the Board of Control as it was called at that time

and made a part of the senior university system. This was always

vigorously opposed by the state depart ment of education, by the Florida

Education Association, and by the continuing educational councils

supported by the school boards. During one session I recall a vigorous

effort was made prior to the legislative session to publicize the

importance of making junior colleges a part of the university system.

And a petition signed by 476 professors from one of our institutions

found its way into the hands of the members of the legislature urging

that the junior colleges be made a part of the university system.

This created quite a vigorous effort among some legislators to achieve

this grouping. But thanks to the support of the citizens primarily

members of the continuing Educational council and the School Board


Association and strong support from the state department of education

with FEA spearheading the effort before the legislative committees

we were able to block this movement and instead come out of the

legislature with additional appropriations for expanding the junior

college program. This is the way public business has to be carried

on in a society like ours, and therefore instead of decrying the need

for this political action we've always felt that the intelligent way

is to study how political action is achieved, and then use political

action for the benefit of the children, the youth and adults of our

state. Another issue of extreme importance to many teachers in this

state is the practice of trying to evaluate the quality of teaching

and give some reward for it. Different counties in Florida have

experimented with this practice for a number of years. But in 1957 as

a part of this settlement for the huge amounts of money the teaching

profession agreed to experiment with some kind of program which would

identify quality teaching and allow some kind of monetary rewards

for it. The profession tried diligently to do this, but found over a

period of time that because we did not have clearly stated objective

measurement. Any effort to differentiate between teachers strictly

on the basis of merit created more problems than it solved and

it was a real morale factor, and after some experimentation the

legislature agreed to drop it. The legislature had provided that when

the program was developed certain additional funds would be made

available to the counties to pay additional salaries and some counties

did experiment for two or three years with this practice but all

felt that since the measurements were not objective enough the program

.iould be dropped and the legislature agreed.

I think I'd be remiss in a duty to a longtime friend if I failed


to call attention to the fact that all during these years of close

cooperation between the Florida Education Association and this

group known as the Continuing Educational Council, that all during

these years this council was led by a wonderful representing the Florida

bar on the council. His name was Del McKean, who was not only a very

faithful supporter of public education and a very effective leader of

this citizen group, but was also instruemntal as one of the founders

of the, the SOuthern Scholarship and Research FOundation with head-

quarters of FSU campus.

W: Arthur 0. White, assistant professor of education at the University

of Florida interviewing John W. Seay, S-e-a-y, Deputy commissioner

of Education under Floyd Christian, Florida Department of Education,

July 1, 1966 to June 30, 1972. This interview is taking place in Mr.

Seay's home, 1509 Hilltop Drive. Tallahassee, Florida on December 12,

1972, at 9:30 A.M. in his family room.

Mr. Seay is going to give us some biographical background.

S: Thirty-six years ago I began my educational career as a teacher in a

small town in Marion County, known as Summerfield, Florida. After a

year there I stayed in Marion County until 1942 as teacher, coach and

principal and then moving to Gainesville where I served as athletic

coach at Gainesville High School prior to entering the service. In

the service I saw twenty-seven months of service overseas with the

U. S. Army in the Seventy-Fourth General Hospital Unit. After re-

turning to the states I returned to Marion Oounty as a general super-

visor of education, and I served in that capacity until I became Mi-

rector of education and then from that I was elected Superintendent

of Schools in 1960 from Marion County and served five and a half years.


While serving in the capacity of Superintendent of Schools for Marion

County I was approached by the present Commissioner of Education Floyd

Christian and asked if I would join him at the state level since he

had moved into that position on an appointment by then-governor Hayden

Burns, who wanted me to join his staff and become his Deputy Commis-

sioner. I was glad to do this because he was a lifetime friend of mine.

I had known him from University of Florida days where we both graduated

in the College of Education, and had been active in associational work

in the superintendents'assocations throughout Florida, along with

bein' active in Florida Educational Assocation where he served as

past president of FEA, and I had served in the capacity of a director

of FEA. So I was most happy to join him on the staff at the Department

of Education in Tallahassee July 1, 1966. Having lived most of my

life in Florida ... but I was not born in this state coming here at

an early age from the state of Georgia, uh, in midwest Georgia.

Considered to my service here in the departmenjwhich lasted for six

years before retirement. Some of the highlights to be during a period

of time in which this state saw the first national statewide teachers'

strike in the history of this nation. In 1967 the climate was

bein' identified in which such a strike would occur. In nineteen

hundred and sixty-eight (1968) 25,000 of Florida's teachers walked

out of their classroom. This certainly was a crisis for the state

and it was one of the most trying times in which I had to deal as

Deputy Commissioner of Education along with the work\I assisted the

Commissioner in doing in trying to get these teachers back into the

classroom because at that time Florida was experiencing a great

teacher shortage just by natural need for teachers. And the supply

was not meeting the demands of the districts and we had to keeqevery



teacher that we possibly could. We wanted the boards to receive these

teachers back if at all possible, and all except approximately 1500

teachers were taken back by their districts. Another thing that I

consider to be one of the highlights of my administration with the

Commissioner was the fact that Florida's Department of Education

was reorganized, and we brought into play for ... in a total picture

of the state where some 200 or more agencies and commissioners and

segments of government were reorganized into twenty-three departments

of government. Florida bein' one of these departments. But the

most significant thing to me was the, the structure of the department

of Education itself, in the re-organiz--, reorganization of govern-

ment which came out of the legislature all of education kindergarten

through the graduate school was brought into one department of edu-

cation under one Commissioner and under one Board of Education. 'Course

Florida is unique in this respect in that Florida is the only state ,

in the nation that has the state cabinet, elected cabinet, serving as

the official board of education in the state. Now the department was

further organized into four divisions. One division, kindergarten

through high sehool--the elementary-secondary division; another division,

the community college division; the vocational educational division;

and the university system. University system bein' in the department

of Education as one of the divisions headed by Board of Regents with

an appointed chancellor but responsible to the Commissioner and to

the iate board of education. So this was a highlight for me, one

of the ... 'course drastic reorganization, reorganizations that I re-

call that has taken place in the nation bringing' all of Florida into

one unit of government under one commissioner and one state board of

education. The Florida Department of Education has moved rapidly in


the last five years into many innovative areas in education. I

think of the ... most interesting one that I recall has been the de-

velopment of certain legislative acts by the legislature that gave

the department the working tools to help districts and to move education

forward in the state. This state began to recognize that education

along with industry needed dollars to develop certain techniques, re-

search performance-type of programs for education, and for the last

several years the legislature has made sizeable appropriations in

this area, in the neighborhood of a million or more dollars each time

for research development for education in Florida. Through this

research and development program Florida has been able to bring on

boards some of the national authorities, both from business and edu-

cation to serve as governors::of the R and D Council, and these people

of national prominence that advise the commission and the state board

of education and they in turn develop policy which implement the

research and development program for this state. This was one step

that led the legislature and the educators at the state level into the

next natural step which was to base their education on some

type of performance of the student. And so recently the Department

of Education has redone all of the accreditation of school standards

and now the state is into its second year of implementing new ac-

creditation standards based upon performance of students other than

just material things that could be counted and as in the past textbooks

and space, etc. Not only has these new standards brought about a con-

siderable change in education in Florida, it has brought about also a

new training of teacher program for the state university system, and

now the teachers are biing trained by their institutions to perform

along the lines of the new accreditation standards that have been developed.


Along with this change in the accreditation standards the state

board of education has recently adopted a plan of assessing the pro-

duct of the schools. First of all, assessing the students by the

Students' Criterion Reference Test that had been developed in thirteen

areas of academic instruction in which these performances will be ex-

pected and taught resulting form the testing that is done in each of

the areas. Recently the very first one of these in the area of reading

has been completed throughout the state and now we know some of the

weaknesses and strengths of our yoursters at various age levels in

reading skills. The second concern in this assessment program is the

matter of giving the districts, the administration, the teachers the

responsibility within the space and time and personnel that they have

allowed the responsibility for certain achievements of their young-

sters and holding them responsible for this program. This tied to-

gether with the training that is now being accomplished at the state

university system along with the research and development capital

that is being placed in the schools to develop in the schools to develop

new techniques of education and to test those that have been developed

Believe will bring this state along rapidly in many of the areas in

which the public has been anxious to see the state move over the past

few years. It's been interesting as I have. participated in working

though a history of this state department of education along with

the other forty-nine states throughout the nation as a member of the

School Officers' Study Commission to see how the

impact of integration, the impact of certain Federal programs have

effected this state. I think as history will record that integration

has taken place very smoothly in the state of Florida as you will find

in any Southern state, and for that matter any state in the country--



Southern or Northern. The state was reluctant to m.ve in this area

in the beginning, but after knowing that the dual system of edu-

cation was wrong, and all educators would agree that this was wrong,

that one unified system of education was right the school districts

began to give up and tried to as best they could to bring about

this unified school system. It was awfully hard to do because not

only were there elements in the South, particularly in Florida, that

worked against the school in trying to achieve this step in social

education. In that the communities were divided, there were black

communities and white communities and the schools had been built in

these areas to serve these students and by the nature of the geographi-

cal divisions of the districts it was only proper that they become

black and white schools. So it was awfully hard and required alot

of bussing. Many people were opposed to bussing and still are.

But the consolidations of schools and the opportunities for buses to

bring youngsters into better schools, larger schools with better

programs helped this state to move rapidly from a segregated system to

now, a totally integrated system. And I think Florida has done this

as smoothly as any state in the nation. The Federal programs that

hit this state came on as they did in all states with the opportuni-

ty for Federal dollars. And with Florida heavily dependent upon a

property tax for its resources for schools these Federal dollars

were welcome. But at the same time the districts were fearful of

the controls of Federal dollars, and many were reluctant to accept

them in the beginning. But as the Fecral dollars began to flow, first

in school lunch programs and then later for programs that would help

the deprived child and then the exceptional child -area, and monies

for materials and even construction dollars the state rapidly began to

FP. 23A

utilize these dollars and to try to provide better opportunities for

their children. I might say that this Commissioner of Education,

Floyd Christian, was one of the leaders in the nation in trying to

see that these dollars were the dollars that were sent to Wash-

ington from the people locally, and he wanted as many as these dollars,

of these dollars as he could get to turn back to the state for the

benefit of youngsters, and he has been a leader in the nationritrying

to get the dollars tp the districts as quickly as possible without

any more administrative ... redtape, as, as, as could be avoided.

And in doing so many times we had to operate on verbal instructions

from the U. S. Office. Later which found conflict with some of the

guidelines that afterwards had been printed. But the whole emphasis

without an3apology has been to get the dollars to the districts for

child's benefit and not having to wait. The full fiscal years would

expire before the dollars could be spent and then thereby having to

lose them, return to the Federal level. 4

Many have asked the question that caused this national, this

statewide teachers' strike that we had in '68? What were the causes,
and were the ., justified in taking such drastic steps as they

did? I might say that looking' at it from the stand point of a

teacher you can certainly say that the teachers were justified in

bringing to the attention of the state the needs of the, not only

the teachers but of the children in the classroom ihich they found

themselves. The schools by and large were operating on austere

budgets ; districts were not able to provide the income from a 20

mill limit by constitutional property tax, and this bein' the only

source of revenue that could be obtained plus that which came from

state level and at that time the state was not carrying the major

Fla Pers 23A

share of the tax support, uh, finance for the schools in Florida.

So many teachers were heavily loaded with students, they had few

materials to work with, their buildings were not adequate, and conditions

were deplorable. And the teachers had faced this year after year, and

they had been promised and bettered, but this had not come forward, and so

with a powerful organization of FEA at that time, and leadership that was

determined to bring this more vividly to the attention of the public,

they ,' saw fit to do that which I disapprove, and still do, bring ... that

is to strike. And when they made this determination to strike, it

had been over a period of months and even years where they had local

organizations to solicit from their teachers, uh, delayed resignations

that could be submitted at the point of necessity, and county by county

had these already in the hands of the officials of the Florida Educational

Association, to submit in the event that the leadership at the state

level would ask for them to be submitted. Many of these teachers were com-

mitted, and being committed to this overall endeavor they saw that they
must / t with this commitment and as a result walked out of the classrooms,

25,000 strong on a given Monday morning. And the mistake that was made

in my opinion was that being here at the state level, and bein' chairman

of the educa--, legislative committee for the Department of Education

working very closely with the governor, working very closely with the

1 legislature, and with the team of people from the Department of Education,

and with the Commissioner we had done all that we could possibly have done

in trying to bring about the most benefits through the legislature for

the people. And actually all of those things that were being asked by

the teachers were tiven to the teachers as the legislature adjourned

on a Friday afternoon of a special session, and then immediately the


Commissioner and I and two other staff members from the department went

down to the FEA,met with their board of directors,their executive

secretary and their president, and tried to in that short length of time

explain to them the benefits of the actions of the legislature. But

on a given Monday morning, on the following Monday morning the leadership

called for teachers' strike, and 25,000 walked out after having received

those benefits that they had wanted the legislature to give them. And

they walked out not known' that they had been given these benefits.

And this was a tragedy, this was a mistake, and the scars of this strike

are still prevelant in, in the state of Florida today.

Of further interest to people in Flori a is this matter of how did

this all happen in a state that had built up one of the most powerful

educational associations in the nation, which Florida had enjoyed over a

period of many years. I've been a member of FEA for all of the years in

which it has been an organization, and have been very proud of the fact

that I have been a member in the association. And I have received many

benefits as a result of its influence in legislation in this state.

And it was hard for me to understand how the teachers at the classroom

level, the principals at the building level, and the superintendents and

supervisors at the district level, could in fact be led to a statewide

walkout. And I really believe that the, the person, the average person

who walked out of the classroom did so without bein' properly informed

as to the status of the situation as of the adjournment of the legislature

and it evidenced to me that it was more of a power play of the leader-

ship of the FEA in concert with the sensitivity of the NEA and with the

resources that NEA had put into this state to bring about a national

picture of a statewide teacher strike. And as for as I know this is the


only one that has ever happened in the nation as of this day. There

have been large district school systems on strike, but a statewide

one, Florida still is the only one to my knowledge. And I think

that this was something at the time that helped FEA be more in line
with the power play of the NEA, and / showing their muscles it brought

about a national image that teachers could stop the wheels from turning .

And then this state had to through its district superintendents and

boards, and through the efforts of Commissioner Christian, knowing that

the child was the loser, had to instigate emergency situations where the

classrooms could be kept open, many times with substandard teachers un-

fortunately. But if it had not been for this I'm afraid that the schools

had been closed it would have been an awfully long period of time to get

'em re-opened. So the schools stayed open and during' the time that they

were stayin' open Commissioner Christian had me and he himself was on the

phone amd other staff, trying' to get boards of education to look at this

teacher strike with very sympathetic eyes, and to let the teachers, after

realizing the benefits of the legislative package, come back into the

classrooms even though had they had resigned; to not accept their resignations

because we could ill afford the loss of this many, these numbers of

teachers in-our state when we were in a teacher shortage.

Prior to 1966 when I came with the Commissioner here in Tallahassee

working' at the state level the Florida Educational Association had

been the program carrier of legislation to the legislature. It had been

developed over a period of two years each time that the programs were pre-

sented from the grassroots level up. We had had our state conventions

and the programs had been endorsed by the state association, and with the

very effective lobbying influence which was so professional by Ed Henderson,

we were very much in benefit of some of the best relations with legislators


that any state could have enjoyed. When Mr. Christian came on board

in 1966 after he was appointed by Governor Hayden Burns, after reading

his oath of office, and responsibility to this commissioner, he felt

very definitely that he had a role to play in carrying forth the legis-

lation needs of the schools to the legislature himself. And from this

point until now present time, the Commissioner has ...

Side 2---

S: I'd like to emphasize the way in which the Florida department brings

forth its legislative program annually. Immediately after thlegislature

adjourns each year the department begins to invite the program ad-

ministrators, the division directors, to bring forth proposals that

they'd like to have considered by the department's legislative commit-

tee. for the next session of the legislature. The Florida School Board

Association and the Florida Superintendents Association and the FEA

begin to, they begin to develop their concerns for legislation in the

following session. All of this is reviewed, analyzed by the depart-

ment's legislative committees which meets regularly and some pro-

posals are disregarded as bein' not, not proper for the time or bein'

unreasonable, others are categorized as bein' possible within the frame-

work of the old, the overall objectives of the department,and as a re-

sult, prior to the annual session of the legislature the Commissioner

at the joint meeting of the state superintendents and school board as-

sociation gives a preview, and he has just recently done this down in

Miami, as to the program that will be brought forth to the legislature

for the coming' session. This has been developed after all of the pro-

cesses that I have described have been entered into by the various groups

of people. Now once this has been jelled, it is formulized, and each

FP 23A

member of the legislature is given copies of it, spPeches are made all

over the state in its behalf, and when the legislature meets in their

regular session they're all aware of the Department of Education's

role and the legislative program for the coming' session. Now this is

different than it was prior to '6-, 1966, in that the Department of Edu-

cation felt that their role was to compliment that of the profes-

sional organization. Mr. Christian has felt that he had a responsibility

of bringing' this forward as commissioner; not meaning that he couldn't,

would not compliment that of the professional organization because he

does, and many times much of this is the in line with each other's

program. But nevertheless the emphasis is placed on the Department of

Education's program and then wherever we can we cooperate with the FEA

and try to find all of their program acceptable to the commissioner, but

sometimes there are some differences which we will not speak out

against, but we do not go out and actively lebby for. It has been my

observation over the past six years that the legislature leans heavily

upon the commissioner's advice, his influence and his staff's influence.

And until recently much of the legislation in education was actually

designed, wriiten and put into bill form by the Department of Education

people, but since 1969 under re-organization the legislature now

has brought on aidesfor the committees and they have the expertise, and

they're doin' much of this themselves, but at the same time having to

involve the Department of Education staff because this is where the infor-

mation was to be obtained. And so we liked to have the legislative

staffs involve the department even though it required a great deal of

work on the part of the department but at the same time we had the con-

fidence of the aides and they in fact worked very cloesly with the

staff, and as a result better legislation we think came out of the


legislature. In preference to working independently of each other

and many times not having the information and sometimes they're hard to

document and support the data that would be necessary before the


Mr. Christian on some occasions would appear himself before

committees and before the entire session of the legislature. He has on

one occasion and this has, never has been done by a commissioner

prior to his term, or he has only done it once, called a joint session
of the legislature, and appeared before them in the interests / im-

provements that, that preceded th walkout of teachers in this state.

And I think that in this particular instance the legislature felt like

that education's worries and ills could be corrected if they would

change the manner in which the commissioner .was put in office. And

so this seemed to be under the governor that we had at that time,one of

the issues that was withholding the proper state level of funding. And

Mr. Christian had the nerve and fortitude to call both sessions of the

legislature together and frankly said to the bodies that if this was

fact of funding or not funding the educational needs of this state that

he would ask them to bring forth a constitutional referendum to the

peoples; let the people decide whether or not his office should be elected

or appointed. And so this in fact was passed by the insistence of the

commissioner and put on the ballot to be voted upon in the year in which

the new constitution was adopted for the state of Florida, but the

constitutional, constitution framers decided that the most popular

position of the Commissioner of Education in Florida would be to retain

as an elected office and after the constitution was so designed to do

that, then it was no point in carrying to the people the question of

whether to be elected or appointed commissioner. But he had the ... he


had the foresight d he wanted to put it on the line. That this was

the reason why funding was being withheld as stated by the governor,

he wanted the people to go ahead and vote on the issue even though

it meant that he would lose his term of office.

Before we leave the teacher strike issue I think it's interesting

to know that much of that which took place in the professional or-

ganization, the teachers in classrooms, and school administrators,

was absolutely necessary and edsireable as far as bringing about im-

provements in education is concerned in this state. And I think that

the, up to the point of putting the state under sanctions was de-

sireable, and this meant, as far as I'm able to determine, that the state

was listed among those around the country as being one under sanctions

because the state had not properly done that which it should do for

their children, and therefore the teachers were sensitive to this in

making it known nationally. It meant that business and industry would

have to sit up and take note of the fact that a state under sanctions

was not good. It was a black mark. People did not want to go to a

state and do business in a state and make a livelihood or a move for

residence in a situations were their schools were so deplorable that

they would be under sanctions by its profession. And this I think is,

was good for this state. It brought the image of Florida into proper

focus, it let the people know that all was not well. And, but the

step leading into the walkout, the strike, was the movement of the pro-

fession that I could not accept, and many others could not accept, and

particularly the legislature at this point and even the mammas and

daddies at home where the children were denied a classroom teacher, just

turned sour on all of teaching. And from that point on the influence

that FEA had and the impact that it had lobbying began to dwindle, and

FP 23A

people could care less about position of the profesison on any issue.

Because it was not popular at all then to listen to and adhere to the

lobbying' effect and impact of the profession. In fact it was more

popular to even be elected governor of this state if you did not have

the endorsement or the support of the professional organization,

and this was proven when Governor Kirk was elected in Florida because

he was certainly not one that had the support of the profession.

'Course Governor Kirk was in office prior the strike, but this period
leading' up to the strike during' the period of sanctions was / way in

which he gained popularity over the teachers in that they were
trying to . / his office and he was anti, and opposed to bein' put

under threats and therefore he was very popular with the people at

that time.

I would like to conclude this issue on the teacher strike with this

statement that in my opinion the sanctions that were imposed upon

this state, the mass demonstration of the teachers and one example of

this bein' the 35,900 that mustered into the Tangerine Bowl in Orange

County on a given Saturday, and the threat of strike was all good

for this state. It brought about a sensitivity to education that other-

wise probably would not have been brought about.

The question of re-organization of the Department of Education

ought to be stressed a little bit more here. In my opinion when re-

organizaiton took place in '69, the legislature had found themselves

in the position of playing' the role of policymakers- for education.

And I don't consider this to be all bad. Although we had looked upon

the legislature in the past as a body that would bring forth the laws

that would implement our policies and programs that would be developed

by educators themselves and established by state board of education


action. But the legislature takin' a position of bringing' forth pro-

grams and to set policy and actually to supervise the adminstrationo

of these policies has not been bad for this state. In fact I would

put it on the asset column. Uh, this probably came about through the

feeling of some legislators that educators had moved too slowly in the

field of bringing' about change. And as a result of the impact of their

policy, legislative decisions, the Department of Education has welcomed

this because then it becomes the commitment of the legislature and then

the department can get things done much more easily when the legis-

lature is committed to the programs that would implement policy than

it could without this commitment. One example of this has been the R

and D program. This is considered to be a program that came out of

the legislature and the legislature has made financial commitments

and they made it for more than one year; they had a strategy of bringing'

forth phases of this development. And as a result it's very easy now

to go to the legislative appropriations committees and get this re-

instated in the appropriations act because this is their program; they

are committed to it and to back away from it would be ignoring that

which they envisioned from the beginning. Now of course I want to

in my own professional way to say that this is fine; educators have

wanted this all along; we felt like education should have an invest-

ment in research and development as industry has had. But if this

had been only the educators' thought, it would have never gotten off of

the ground. Since it is the legislators' commitment, they in turn

are jealous over this program as anything I know of.

I'd like to discuss for a moment the accountability for education

in this state, and as I some of the sidelights as I see them. Naturally

as more dollars are being put into education then people become more

sensitive to "what are you getting for these dollars?" I think this


has been the attitude of the legislature as they have begin to put more

state dollars into programs for education. The educator has welcomed

this, most educators have. There's been some reluctance, I might
say not only some but / great deal of reluctance on part of class-

room teachers and principals who have not fully understood the im-

pact of the accountability for the educational product. But I think

this is beginning' to clear up, and we're making' some roads, inroads

now into this big question mark. But as the monies have been placed

in education,more dollars, as the state has taken on more responsi-

bility for education, financially, they're beginning' to turn now and

ask the question annually, "What are we getting' for our dollars?"

Well, it's a good question, and it's one that educators should welcome.

And we have much that we can show. In fact in my opinion I think

that education has bought more for the dollar than any other industry

that I know of although our track record has not been too good, and our

public image of this or disseminatin' this information to the people.

But I think the beginning' of trying' to be more accountable has been,

has dealt with, first of all, trying' to restructure the accredita-

tion standards for schools. Of course this is a measurement that we've

used over the years to try to place the judgment on how good a school

is doin' it's job. We must admit that it has not been a very good

measurement, and it's been based upon number of desks and chairs and

lavatories and qualifications of teachers and all of this ddes-not

in any way measure the quality of the product that the school might be

producing' because it has been determined from time to time that

schools with meager resources in the way of the budget fo esks and

blackboards and chalk and probably has turned out a product that's

comparable to those with the rich resources. But in a way now we're

beginning' to focus our attention in this state / performance criterion

and as a result of working' through the new accreditation standards

we got acquainted with the term of 'behavioral objectives.' Of

course this in some circles in very controversial issue and as I un-

derstand it that even among the colleges there are people who will take

a position that this is not the proper approach. Whether it is nor not

I'm not sure, but anyway the Department of Education is committed to

trying to structure learning around measureable objectives, one way or

another that objectives of learning can be measured. This has

frightened alot of people because before you can measure an objective

of a student you must specify what it is you want him to learn and then

try to measure it in terms of that which .you have structured for

him to learn. And so the responsibity for this has been primarily

the responsibility of the classroom teacher who teaches the child, and

so many of the teachers were frightened when they were expected to put

down in writing, in understandable terms, that which it was that they

wanted their children to learn. And then to know that in the end they

would be expected to measure this to see how well they they are doing the

job of classroom teaching. Well, this has brought about much frustration

among classroom teachers. It should, it should not have happened,

but it has happened. Now the philosophy that has been established at

the Department of Education in the beginning was that these techniques,

criterion, guidelines would be developed at the state level with the

input from classroom teachers and school administrators,supervisors,

from the district level and then in many workshops that have been held

throughout this state, dessimination of these guidelines and in-

structions have been attempted. And then with the hope that these people

would go back to their districts and they would do the job of in-sevice


training of their personnel in order that understandings could be had

for all. Unfortunately many of our district level supervisory

administrative staffs have not done this job. And we have found

out on visitation to schools by department staff that the classroom

teacher still is not very well informed on how to write objectives

how to measure the(roduct, how to bring about this accountability, which

in the end will be expected, not by the legislators, uh, educators

alone but by the educator, uh, legislators and the people who are

payin' the bill. But I have had someinformation recently to indicate

to me that by and large the job is being done now better than it has

been since its beginning. We have just finished the accountability

on, in the trading, as I stated previously in this little conversa-

tion, and I think that with experience the teachers are beginning to

see something that is manageable and is possible and they are not

being frightened that each one will be hired or fired on the basis of

whatever their assessment program turns out to be. Because actually

whenever you hold someone responsible for a product, you must also

hold people responsible for seeing' that that person has the resources

that they need to produce that type of quality program. And so the

responsibility is not only on the teacher, it returns back to the

legislature, the appropriation committees, the funds,they space, the

time, and the resources that that teacher has to produce with. And

if that's not provided, you can't hold a teacher responsible when other

elements are not possible, ... possible for that teacher. So in effect

yes, we had much misunderstanding, we've had much frustration, the

classroom teachers have been upset, but then I can point to you,

county by county, where the job that has been done thoroughly, where

the understanding has been developed that those classroom teachers


are not frightened, they're out front, their doin' a job, and they

have accepted accountability with open arms, and they're willing to

be measured by the products that they produce. After they have said

what ig is that they want to produce with those studnets. I think

we're over the hump on that, I really do.

May I say a word about the Florida community college program,

which I think is the best in the nation, barring none. It has had a

birth with a proper perspective and vision that I think has really

bought about one of the miracles in education for our state. I made

many talks around this state from time to time and I've always spoken

of miracles in education, and 'course, one of these that I always

refer to has been this development of community college program for

our state. The reason that I say that it is truly a unique type of

a program is that from the beginning, back in 1947 when community

colleges were made possible but not properly funded and they didn't

get off the ground too much 'til about '57, other it was built upon the

concept of not an extended high school program, not a university

system; it was unique in that it would be a community college located

in a community where the youngsters could go from high school there

return to home each evening, and the families would feel the impact of

finance lightly, and that they could get a program, if they choose, that

would lead to higher education, last two years, or a program for

self-employment immediately, such as vocational-technical education,

or job-skill opportunities, or if people in a community had a need

for improving' themselves to better their business or to develop an

aesthetic appreciation of the arts, they could go there, and this

is a place where they could ... have it provided. It was not to be

a program that would mimic universities, it was unique in that i it


was not a university, or not extended high school, but community

college. Now frankly I think the community college movement in

this state got off to a beginning that is hard to see how they were

playing the role, that which was envisioned by its founders. Most

of 'em that I know wanted to immediately become little universities.

They saw their main role as education for those who transferred to the

university system. And I think a great many of them took a great deal

of pride in trying to show how few that could get through, that could

transfer on to senior colleges. And to me this was no measurement

of their commitment at all, in fact it was giving emphasis to a seg-

ment of education that was not the most important for them to per-

form. But in more recent years through the impact of Federal dol-

lars and through more emphasis upon job opportunity and training for

work, the community college now, now are becoming coming' into their

own. We're trying' to carry out this prong of their educational com-

mitment to provide vocational and technical and career education to

those youngsters who not necessarily need to go to college. It would

be the inappropriate thing for them to do. And the world of

work is demanding the skills, the diplomas of electricians, carpen-

ters, the sheet metal people and the air conditioning mechanics and

electronics people in ways in which the future seems to be just ever-

growing for these candidates for these types of programs. And as we

face the impact of universities now with many of 'em not bein' able

to find ready jobs immediately upon degrees of doctoral, doctoral level,

and bachelor's level that we've go to show more emphasis, attention to

the And I believe community colleges now in fact their

takin' a great deal of pride in working' with the disadvantaged; the

youngster who needs remedial work; the youngster who can find a job and


hold a job and succeed in a job after two years at a community college.

I'm very proud of our work in this area. And of course, the man, and

there are just many, but James Wattenberg of the University of Florida

is the father of community college movement in this state. Dr. Lee

Henderson has been such a wonderful person to carry it along after

Wattenberg left the Department of Education and of course the univer-

sities have helped in the training of people with this type of com-

mitment to education and the youngsters now, it's my opinion, and this

is just a guess, that approximately 90% of the college first and

second year students are getting their education, first-level, at the

community college level. And I hate to think if, what would have hap-

pened to the opportunities for these youngsters had our community

colleges not existed because universities just would not have had the

room for them.

I mentioned this program in the community college that deals with

the skill for ready opportunity in a world of work. Has been referred

to as occupational education by the college level people, but in

the comprehensive high schools and vocational-technical centers it's

more commonly referred to as vocational education. But coming' on the

scene there is a new term, it's not new any longer, it's been here for

some while, but and that is the "career- education" for all youngsters.

And with the beginning of the interest in this by Commissionoer Mar-

lin, Sidney Marlin, who is no longer with the U. S. office, and with

the chief state school officers, and I might say here that Floyd

Christian has been one of the leaders in this development of not only

the community college programs that have had emphasis upon occupational

education, but also upon the community high schools, comprehensive

high schools and even in the elementary grades. That program which


leads to the development of career education for all youngsters. He

has been one of the national leaders as well as a state leader in

this movement. We are, we have found here in the Department of

Education an interest not only by our staff, but by the legislature

who has in fact saw enough importance in career education, vocational

education to make it one of the divisions of education, the Depart-

ment of Education. As I mentioned earlier that we have four divi-

sions. One of these is the vocational, division of Vocational

Education. Now there was some controversy over this in the beginning.

Why pull out vocational education from an on-going program that

weaves through elementary, secondary and even junior colleges and

higher education and put it in a division of vocational education

because it's a segment of education and all of these programs. But

the reason for that is very simple. They wanted to pull it out, to

identify it, put the importance upon vocational education and to

identify it and give it resources. And then try to encourage the ex-

pansion of this now we call it career-education. The national, at

the national level they've had career education conferences where state

people have participated at all levels, including lay p and

legislators, and here last February in our state we had our state-

wide conference in career-education, which bought in some 250 people.

Lay people, as well as educators at all levels, and then many of the

districts now have gone back and had their conferences with the em-

phasis bein' upon getting' the child in the classroom,even at the

kindergarten level, familiar with terms that lead to career educa-

tion. And this does not mean in any way that it's desirable to pull

away from college those who are capable and should go to college

because even going into medicine, into engineering, into science


this is a career for them and should be encouraged and should be developed.

But it also means that those who need to look at the world of work,

and those opportunities in baKin', and plumbin', and electricity,

and electronics that's immediately available upon completion of high

school or better yet comprehensive community colleges that they should

not be overlooked and youngsters should be encouraged and their parents

should be encouraged to see that they get these opportunities.

I think it's important for us to mention as we talk about the

community college movement in Florida that one of the programs that

has been worked out successfully in my opinion has been the recent

articulation agreement between the community colleges and university

level people. Earlier it was awfully hard to explain to tax-payin'

parents of this state why his youngster who had completed a program

that had been designed for community college first and second year,

that he could not be transferred to the university system in junior

level standing. Well, this was not reasonable to try to say that a young-

ster meeting all the requirements at the community college then was

not eligible for the university senior and junior year, junior and

senior year, uh, years. So after much concern over this by the educators

and the legislature a committee was appointed by Commissioner

Christian at both the university level, composed of three, and com-

munity college level, composed of three, and as I served as Deputy

Commissioner for the Commissioner in a thoroughly ... use of this

agreement I served as his chairman, representing the commissioner and

the Department of Education. And I would say that Florida is unique

in this respect. I know of no other state in the nation where we

have worked out an agreement, articulation agreement, with the

university system, and that of the community colleges, as Florida has


done in this state. First of all the guidelines, the criteria for

the agreement had been worked out over a period of a couple of

years with many hard hours manpower-hours put in by community col-

lege people and university people. Much debate has been had over

certain issues in the agreement and finally after hammering these

out and reluctantly by some, the Board of Regents finally adopted

this a little over approximately two years ago. And the state, and

the Board of Education thereafter adopted it, approved it for the

state. And this articulation committee meets monthly and the guide-

lines are bein' followed, and as far as I know at least at the time

that I left the committee some marvelous work is being done here in

trying to bring about this agreement, the administration of this agree-

ment between the community college and the university system.

.____ in short, by means that if a youngster follows the univ--,

the junior college ....

Tpae 2, side 1.

... university system is that the agreement deals only with the trans-

fer student. It does not deal with those who do not transfer to the

university. In conclusion please privilege me by letting me make a

few personal comments. I am now retired from the Department of

Education after having served as deputy Commissioner over the past

six years there, not always with the title of deputy, but in the

capacity of being one very close to the commissioner. I have enjoyed

this association with my fellow educators at the department, but

MOSA particularly have enjoyed the opportunity of working with the

Commissioner, Floyd T. Christian. I want to say a few things about

this chief state school officer that maybe is not known by all people.


I have- found him to be not only an educational stalwart in the

national light as he has been heading the chief state school officers

of this country, but I've found him to be that type of leader at

the district level as he served as both an appointed and an elected

superintendent of schools in Pinellas County where he developed for

seven--, over a period of seventeed years one of the most out-

standing school systems in the nation recognized as such by the na-

tional authorities. But since he has been Commissioner of Education

in Tallahassee he has moved the Department of Education along more

rapidly with more innovative programs and with those things that

other states are looking to Florida to visit and emulate and to point

with pride that has been done in the field of education more so I

feel than any other person that this state has ever known. Now this

doesn't mean that we have not had good commissioners of education,

formerly were called superintendents, because we have. We had men such

as Tom Bailey and Colin English and Coffin, and Sheets that played

their roles well during their periods of history and they've done

it with meager resources as compared with that which Commissioner of

Education has today. But Floyd Christian is a man that I have come to

know not recently, I knew him at the University of Florida, we were

students there together, we were athletes there together, he played

football, I played baseball, he was one of the outstanding' ends there

during' the years that he played football and I was catching the

University of Florida ; baseball team for four years. And when he

left University of Florida I had an opportunity when he was a coach

down in Ft. Myers and I passed it because it seemed to be too far

away from central Florida. But over the years I've known him through

his work with the education, ETV program in this state, the


community colleges' development, with the leadership that he's given

to the Florida Education Association, serving' as its president and

as a director of the association and later on becoming' president

of the Superintendents' Association for htis state. He served

overseas on occasions in this movement of educational television, he

was a member of the Florida Board of Regents appointed by Haydon

Burns as serving' in that capacity prior to becoming' Commissioner

of Education. He is a very sensitive person to the feeling's of

people; there's nothing' he wouldn't do to befriend a person, he is

very thoughtful of his staff, he is a team man, he will support and

give authority and then expect people to operate within their own

ways and abilities to do so, but be accountable for their actions, but

giving them all of the freedom in which to work that I, that they

should have. Umm, he's been a very close friend of mine. I think

that he has made possible some professional opportunities for me that

never would have come my way had I not joined his staff in 1966.

So I'm indebted to the commissioner and am one of his strongest

supporters for his strong voice in education, his strong leadership

a person that goes first-class. He's not one to shirk the respon-

sibility of pointing' out the needs and even putting' the dollar figures

onto the program costs. He's strong before the legislature, he's ...

his voice on the cabinets one of the stronger voices on the cab-

inet, and for ... education has been the benefactor for havin' had

this man serve as Commissioner of Education for our state since his

appointment by Haydon Burns in '66 and then during his two terms

that he has been elected as commissioner of this state.

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