Front Cover
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 A brief review of the growth and...

Title: Brief Review of the Growth and Improvement of Educatin for negroes in Florida, 1927 - 1962
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000065/00001
 Material Information
Title: Brief Review of the Growth and Improvement of Educatin for negroes in Florida, 1927 - 1962
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Williams, D. E.
Publisher: Southern Education Foundation, Inc.
Publication Date: 1963
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000065
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAA1684

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front cover
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Front Cover
        Inside front cover
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    A brief review of the growth and improvement of education for negroes in Florida 1927-1962
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
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        Page 48
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1927- 1962

State Agent for Negro Schools
State Department of Education
Tallahassee, Florida

Published As
An "Occasional Paper"
By The




Executive Director of the Southern Education Foundation, Inc.

MANY AGENCIES, institutions, and individuals have contributed
to the development of education in the South since the turn of
the century. Great foundations, like the General Education Board and
the Julius Rosenwald Fund, State Departments of Education in the
various states, and many individuals have helped produce this moving
and dramatic story of the development of public education, and particu-
larly public education for Negroes, in the South.
However, it has not been the financial resources of the foundations
alone which have written this story. Rather has it been men with ideas
who were able to use those resources for the implementation of their
ideas-men with the foundations, men in the colleges and universities,
and men in the State Departments of Education.
The State Agents for Negro Schools (State Supervisors of Negro
Education) have probably been the most important group to be involved
in this conversion of money through ideas into the improvement of a
Mr. Jackson Davis, the first State Agent, was appointed to the position
in Virginia in 1910. From 1911 to 1929, State Agents were appointed
in fourteen other Border and Deep South States. Mr. J. H. Brinson, the
first such appointee in Florida, served from January, 1920, through
June, 1927.
Mr. D. E. Williams, the author of this Review, though now listed as
a General Consultant in Education, became State Agent for Negro
Schools in Florida in July, 1927, and has served continuously to the
present time, thus spanning thirty-five years of a rapidly changing cul-
ture. During these years, he probably visited more schools and counseled,
advised, and encouraged more teachers than any other staff member of
any State Department of Education.


This review is a significant and important record of a little known
facet of American education. It is not simply a catalogue of events and
achievements, but rather is it the relationship of a philosophy and a
program to a pertinent milieu and a word picture and a description of a
job and a man in action on that job. It is a clear, succinct, and repre-
sentative statement of the thinking and the labor which have gone into
the work of the State Agents in the South. From this account of a man
and his job emerges the portrait of a man's philosophy-his fundamental
belief in the simple ethics of Christ, in the potential equality of all man-
kind, and in the basic need for an educated people in a democracy.
Though written by Mr. Williams from the vantage point of his ex-
periences in Florida, it is universal in its philosophy, regional in that it
assays the bi-racial sector of American society, and national in that it
deals with problems of particular importance to our country. Mr. Wil-
liams states this concisely in the following sentence from his Underlying
Principles: "The practice of providing equal opportunity for all children
without regard to any condition, except ability to profit from use of the
opportunity, is the application of basic principles of religion, western
civilization, and American democracy."
Because of its professional significance and worth and its historic
value, the Southern Education Foundation, with Mr. Williams' kind
permission, presents it as one of its "Occasional Papers."



State Agent for Negro Schools
State Department of Education
Tallahassee, Florida

Attitudes and practices in providing public education, as well as other
public services in Florida, have undergone such great change that most
people do not realize that a few decades ago public education for Negroes
was so retarded that it was necessary to employ a person in the State
Department of Education for the sole purpose of promoting improve-
ment of educational opportunities for Negroes. The position was created
and the first appointee served from January of 1920 to July of 1927.
I was appointed in July, 1927 and have served until the present time.
The other states in the South employed personnel to perform this service
earlier than Florida. The appointees to these positions have been natives
of their respective states, trained, experienced, and successful in public
school work. Usually these men have remained in these positions until
they retired or died. As an illustration, one of the men in this work in
the State Department of Education in North Carolina served forty-two
years before retiring. His assistant and successor served thirty-nine
years. The first appointees in most of the other southern states served
for similar periods of time before retiring. These terms of service
reflect the need for continuity of personnel in order to effect improve-
ment. As far as I know none of the early appointees in the other south-
ern states has left a written record of the work.
In the present period of rapid change we tend to forget early condi-
tions and practices. Because of the unique nature of this work and
because there is no written record of the work, I am compiling some
brief statements which reflect the conditions, attitudes, and practices that
prevailed formerly and changes that have been made. On account of the
importance of the changes that have been made it is hoped that the
following statements may be a brief history of the improvement in educa-
tion for Negroes in Florida from 1927 to 1962.


Southern Education Foundation

Recognition of need and acceptance of responsibility for promoting
improvement in many phases of public education were facilitated by
financial grants to the State Department of Education from the General
Education Board. The Board stimulated improvement of public educa-
tion in all the southern states by helping the state departments of edu-
cation initiate supervision of elementary schools, secondary schools,
Negro schools, schoolhouse construction, and school finance. The Board
also helped state universities and teachers' colleges construct classroom
buildings, improve libraries and science departments, and provided
fellowships for the professional preparation of college teachers. State
departments of education, state universities, teachers' colleges, and col-
leges of agriculture used the grants from the Board to provide leadership
for improvement of public education, higher education, and agriculture.

In 1927 Florida was more rural than urban. Agriculture was the way
of making a living for most of the people in the state. Most of the farms
were general farms on which the owners, tenants, and share-croppers
tried to produce what was needed to sustain life. The agriculture of that
time was largely of a subsistence nature. Some surplus production was
sold, but specialized agriculture for the production of citrus, winter
vegetables, dairy products, good quality beef cattle, poultry, and other
commodities for shipment or industrial processing was just getting
started on a large scale. There was some industry in the state but an
imbalance between agriculture and industry existed. Since most of the
people depended on a subsistence type of agriculture for a livelihood they
had very little money to spend for their personal needs or for public
services. In most of the counties the population was small, the tax
base was shallow and narrow, and the administrative organization for
providing service was limited by statutes. The kind of work done by
most people did not require much formal education or skill.
In addition to these conditions, tradition, custom, and attitudes de-
termined the provision of education and other public services. In general
the amount, kind, and quality of public education provided was limited
and reflected the prevailing concept of the function of education. A
frontier concept of the need for and purpose of education still prevailed


Occasional Paper

to a degree. Most people considered educational opportunity as a per-
sonalized privilege which enabled an individual to improve himself and
his condition rather than an obligation of the state or county to develop
an enlightened citizenship. Educational opportunities were provided in
direct proportion to the taxable wealth of the areas where schools were
located. Urban schools had better facilities, operated longer terms, em-
ployed better prepared teachers, and paid higher salaries than did rural
schools. Since Negroes did not own much property, did not pay much
property tax, and performed work that required physical strength but
little knowledge and skill, less formal education was considered neces-
sary for them. Consequently, the least and poorest provision of educa-
tional opportunity was made for them.
The provision of opportunity to learn to read, write, and figure was
considered "common education" and was thought to be all that most
people, regardless of race, needed in order to perform their work and
duties as citizens, husbands, fathers, wives, and mothers. Opportunity
to acquire such education was provided in small schools located in the
communities where the people lived. Most of these schools were one-
teacher and two-teacher schools and most of them did not provide in-
struction beyond the elementary grades. High school education was not
considered necessary for most people and the size of most of the schools
and the tax resources of most of the communities made the operation of
high schools in every community impractical.

It is difficult for school personnel today to realize the concepts that
existed thirty-five years ago regarding the function and responsibility of
the State Department of Education in relation to the educational policies,
provisions, and practices within the counties. A few statements on
conditions and practices at that time might be enlightening.
The entire State Department of Education, staff and secretaries, occu-
pied three rooms in the Capitol Building. The Department had one
telephone. In 1927 the State Department underwent large and rapid
growth for that time. Supervisors of Teacher Education, Health and
Physical Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation were employed for the

Southern Education Foundation

first time. New people were employed in four previously established
positions. These seven new employees, bringing the total to twelve,
constituted quite a large growth and addition in the influence of the
State Department of Education on public education within the counties.
These people being young, vigorous, trained, and experienced, gave
considerable impetus to the influence of the State Department of Educa-
tion on the development of public education in Florida.
State financial aid to counties was very small. Counties were largely
self-supporting and independent of the state in the operation of their
schools. There was very little communication between the State Depart-
ment and county superintendents, principals, or teachers. Seldom, if
ever, did county superintendents come to the State Department of Edu-
cation regarding problems of any nature. Most of the correspondence
related to certification. County school superintendents did not depend
upon the State Department of Education for help, leadership, guidance,
or regulations regarding budgets, school sites, construction of buildings,
transportation, improvement of the curriculum, or employment of
personnel. The self-reliance which characterized individual behavior at
that time was also the established and unquestioned method for operating
schools within the counties. Each county was largely self-supporting,
self-reliant, and self-directing. There was little reason for county school
personnel to come to the State Department of Education and there were
few and poor roads on which to travel to Tallahassee.
After the collapse of the Florida land boom in the twenties and during
the depression, local school units became less and less able to operate
their schools on their local tax income. School districts requested more
support from the county school board and county school boards re-
quested assistance from the state. It took several years and several ses-
sions of the legislature to modify the prevailing concept that financial
support of education was mostly, if not wholly, a local responsibility and
to develop the concept that education was a state responsibility, and for
the state to assume and fully execute its responsibility for helping to
provide education. The depression and World War II accelerated the
change of concept and practice which evolved into our present proce-
dure. The independence, nearly complete self-reliance, and autonomy


Occasional Paper

of county school systems changed to dependence on the state for a sub-
stantial portion of the cost of operating public schools. With this
change the legislature gradually increased the responsibilities, member-
ship, and budget of the State Department of Education so that increased
state leadership, guidance, and regulation in budgets, transportation,
construction of school plants, employment of personnel, and help in
improving instruction and curriculum development could be provided.
These were some of the general conditions that prevailed in 1927
when I was appointed to promote the improvement of education for
Negroes. Specific preparation for the responsibilities of the position was
not available. There was no statement or outline of functions, duties, and
responsibilities of the position. There was no organized and planned
orientation for the work to be done. Hence, it was up to me to discover
the needs, plan the work, and do it. Occasional visits by experienced and
wise educators connected with Foundations interested in the improvement
of education for Negroes gave hints and suggestions that were most
helpful in recognizing needs and initiating improvements. Information
on what other men in similar positions in other states had done or were
doing was helpful.

In order to learn something about Negro schools and their needs I
visited all of the schools in all of the counties. As a result of my observa-
tions and discussions with county superintendents, Negro principals,
supervisors, and teachers I gained enough understanding of the situation
to make some general plans which were stated in the 1928 Biennial
Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The objectives
stated in those plans were: "(1) to induce school boards to adopt
policies for improvement of Negro schools; (2) to encourage adequate
appropriations from public funds for the support of education for
Negroes; (3) to enlist the active interest of superintendents in providing
adequate buildings and equipment for Negro schools; (4) to promote
living salaries for Negro teachers; (5) to improve teaching in Negro
schools; (6) to encourage improvement of the living conditions and
habits of Negroes through the schools, and (7) to cooperate with the
State Board of Control in the development of the Florida Agricultural


Southern Education Foundation

and Mechanical College and to work with the private Negro schools in
the extension of educational opportunities for Negroes."
On my first visit to the counties I learned that most of the county
superintendents possessed little definite information about their Negro
schools and manifested a degree of indifference about them. Some of
them could not understand why I wished to see their Negro schools.
However, with one exception, all superintendents went to their Negro
schools with me. I found the first visits so helpful in getting to know
the superintendents and learning about the Negro schools that I fol-
lowed the practice of visiting every school and classroom in every county
every year. These visits enabled the superintendents to learn about their
schools and teachers and to become more concerned about them. As a
result, most superintendents made some improvements in their Negro
schools each year. The superintendents' visits to the schools were possible
at that time because they were not deluged with the many responsibilities
that have devolved upon them since the close of World War II. Another
factor that had some influence was that the county superintendents were
the only people working in education at the county level in most of the
counties. The outcome of these visits was the development of mutual
understanding and respect between the superintendents and me and
effective working relationships between us. Some superintendents be-
came so interested in their Negro schools that they expressed interest
in employment in the State Department to help work with all Negro
In addition to other pertinent information excerpts from my records
quoted in the 1934 Biennial Report of the State Superintendent show the
kind and degree of physical facilities which were provided at that time.
The report on Alachua County in a general way reflects the provisions
throughout the state. The richer and more urban counties surpassed
Alachua and the poorer and more rural counties were surpassed by
"In 1932-33 Alachua County had 48 Negro schools of which 29 had
one teacher, 9 had two teachers, 5 had three teachers, and 5 had five or
more teachers. The enrollment was 4,051 with 35 per cent in the First
[ 10

Occasional Paper

Grade. The attendance in school was reported to be 86 per cent. A count
of children present during visits made in 1933-34 showed 69 per cent
in attendance. The per capital cost of instruction based on teachers'
salaries was $6.38. The average annual salary paid teachers was $237.
The county employed 109 teachers who possessed training as follows:
13 college graduates, 17 normal school graduates, 66 high school
graduates, and 13 with less than high school graduation. The teachers
held certificates as follows: 19 high grade certificates granted on train-
ing, 38 low grade certificates granted upon examination, and 45 tem-
porary or no certificates. The amount invested in lots, buildings, and
equipment was $181,540, an average of $44.81 per child. The county
provided 44 schoolhouses, and 4 churches were provided by the Negroes
and used by the county for school purposes. Twenty schools had no
water supply and 2 schools had no toilets."
The most tangible and visually impressive need observed in my first
visits was the need for schoolhouses. Most of the 866 Negro schools in
operation in Florida during the early years of my employment were
conducted as one-teacher and two-teacher schools in churches, lodge
halls, turpentine or saw-mill camp residences. There were a few county-
owned schoolhouses. I took pictures of all buildings used for Negro
schools in every county. (A picture was made of every building that
was used for school purposes by Negroes in Florida between 1927-47.
These pictures are filed in the office.)
It is very difficult for people to realize today that school was conducted
in such buildings. Drinking water, sanitary toilets, desks, blackboards,
sufficient textbooks, library books, a good heater and fuel were lacking
in many of these schools. Pews and benches often substituted for desks.
Water was brought in bottles and jugs by children or was gotten in a
bucket from a so-called spring near the school. School officials were
reluctant to provide pumps because people would steal them. Often
trees and bushes served for toilets, and surface privies when provided,
were usually so filthy that children preferred to use the bushes. Toilet
tissue and washing facilities were not provided in most schools. Wide
planed boards painted black served as chalk boards.


Southern Education Foundation

Organized philanthropy, through small financial grants, was very
helpful in stimulating county school boards to appropriate more tax
funds for the improvement of Negro schools. Such stimulative help
was given by the Rosenwald Fund.
The Rosenwald Fund had been established by Julius Rosenwald in
response to requests from Booker T. Washington and others for help in
building rural schools in Alabama and other states in the South. The
requests became so numerous that Mr. Rosenwald organized his phil-
anthropy and appointed a director to handle the requests and grants. For
several years Mr. S. L. Smith of Nashville, Tennessee, who had served
as State Agent for Negro schools in Tennessee, handled the requests
and grants. It was during this period that the Fund did its best work.
Mr. Smith knew the culture patterns of the South and worked har-
moniously with state and county school officials in stimulating the
improvement of physical facilities for Negro schools in all the southern
states. The Rosenwald Fund gave stimulative assistance on the construc-
tion of 128 schools for Negroes in Florida. In order to receive assistance
from the Fund it was necessary for the school to be constructed according
to plans and specifications prepared by the Fund. These plans specified
unilateral lighting, cross ventilation, sub-flooring, storm sheathing, stand-
ard size rooms with adequate storage space, good heating facilities, and
ample good quality blackboards and desks. These schoolhouse plans
were the first good plans available in the state for constructing small
rural schools. It was the custom to employ architects to design large
urban schoolhouses but small rural schools usually had been built'by
carpenters without plans and specifications and without any knowledge
or understanding of the requirements for a functional classroom or
schoolhouse. A county could not receive aid from the Fund unless some
tax funds were appropriated for building the schoolhouse. Also, the
Negro patrons were required to donate a part of the cost of the building.
The last two requirements reflected wisdom. Through this financial
help and cooperative procedure county school officials were gradually
induced to assume their responsibility for providing educational facilities
for Negroes and Negroes were more concerned since they had a part in
developing the facilities for the education of their children. In addition

Occasional Paper

to helping counties provide good schoolhouses for Negroes the Fund
gave stimulative assistance on the purchase of library books for Negro
schools, extension of school terms, and transportation of children to
Even though the physical facilities in most of the schools were entirely
inadequate, principals and teachers were urged to clean and beautify the
premises. Organized suggestions were given annually on personal hy-
giene, school sanitation, school cleanliness, and beautification. Grounds,
buildings, toilets, and drinking and washing facilities were checked at
every school on every visit. This emphasis and checking on cleanliness
and sanitation helped principals and teachers form the habit of main-
taining clean and sanitary classrooms, buildings, grounds, toilets, and
drinking and washing facilities.
Superintendents could hardly avoid being influenced by seeing the
needs in the schools, year after year, without making some effort to
improve the conditions. Their concern increased to the degree that when
funds became available through legislation in 1947 (Minimum Founda-
tion Program) for the construction of school buildings the superinten-
dents and school boards accepted and executed the recommendations of
the State Department of Education for consolidating the small schools,
acquiring appropriate and adequate sites, constructing safe, sanitary,
spacious, modern buildings with all the necessary facilities for instruc-
tion, sanitation, recreation, lunch, and transporting the children to
the schools.
Any one visiting any Negro school in Florida today can observe that
the children are largely of normal age and normal size for their grade.
The approach to normalcy in these measures has been very slow and
gradual. In 1933-34, Age-Grade Distributions were made for the Negro
schools in several counties as one way to show the teachers the need for
improving instruction. The Age-Grade Distribution for Gadsden County
Negro Schools which is shown on the following page is an example of
the degree of over-ageness and retardation which was general in the
Negro schools in Florida at that time.


Southern Education Foundation


Term of 1933-34

Gadsden County Negro Schools


Sept. 1st 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total

6 years 19 I 485
7 years. 16 2 433
8 years 247 1R 9 1 394
9 years 159 105 .. 5 365
10 years I 79 98 '3 I 379
II years 82 76 I10 68 I 384
12 years 61 77 90 82 45 2 403
13 years 9 51 80 91 74 36 2 403
14 years 14 27 48 80 65 59 32 3 342
15 years 6 18 18 55 46 59 46 30 7 2 287
16 years 2 6 14 28 31 36 28 27 16 11 t 201
17 years I I 10 8 12 23 22 10 13 9 12 127
18 years I I 5 7 10 5 8 10 II 7 3 68
.19 years. ... 1 5 4 3 5 8 3 29
20 years..-..... 1 4 5 10

TOTAL -... 1579 590 612 504 340 271 174 101 56 33 33 17 4310
Above Normal 19 17 11 6 3 1 3 2 62
Normal ...... 837 130 125 75 54 40 36 20 10 13 14 9 1363
Below Normal. 742 441 470 418 280 228 137 77 44 20 19 8 2885
Per Cent
Above Normal 3.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 3.0 3.0 1.4
Per Cent
Normal ... 53.0 22.0 20.0 15.0 16.0 15.0 21.0 18.0 18.0 39.0 42.0 53.0 31.6
Per Cent
Below Normal.. 47.0 75.0 77.0 83.0 82.0 84.0 79.0 79.0 79.0 61.0 58.0 47.0 67.0
Per Cent
in each Grade 36.6 13.6 14.1 11.6 7.8 6.1 4.0 2.5 1.2 .7 .7 .3


Occasional Paper

In 1927 forty-two percent of all Negro children in school was
enrolled in the First Grade. Ninety-eight per cent was enrolled in the
elementary school, Grades One through Eight, and two per cent was in
Grades Nine through Twelve. There were several causes for this un-
balanced enrollment. Teachers were habituated to keeping children in
the First Grade two years. In trying to understand their attitude and
practice I rationalized that when school terms were four months, children
were taught the first part of the First Grade one year and the second part
of the First Grade the second year. Teachers had been taught that way
and they knew no other procedure and perpetuated this procedure even
after the term was lengthened. The first part of the First Grade was
called the Chart Class because for many years the beginning children had
been taught from a large chart. Children in the second part and second
year of the First Grade had some First Grade Readers. In most of the
schools with less than one teacher to a grade or section of a grade most
of the teachers had to teach several grades in the same room. This was
standard practice at that time for all rural schools regardless of race.
The larger children in the upper grades received most of the teacher's
time and attention. The popular attitude was that the children in the
First Grade did not deserve much time or instruction. A teacher
acquired status according to the level of the grade or grades taught. In
most cases compensation also increased according to grade level.
Parents had faith in education but failed to realize that children should
attend school every day on time. The general practice was to keep chil-
dren at home on Monday to help do the "washing" (laundry). This help
included getting wood for the fire and carrying water-chores that
could have been performed through good planning and management
which would have allowed the children to attend school. On Friday
children were kept at home to get ready to go to town on Saturday.
These practices caused the loss of two days of school every week. In
addition to these losses children stayed out of school to go fishing, go
to funerals, help plant, cultivate, and harvest crops, and look after the
younger children while the mothers worked. All these days out of school
amounted to one-third to one-half of the school time. When children
attended school their main responsibility was to refrain from activity
by sitting still and keeping quiet. The smaller children sat most of the

[ 15]

Southern Education Foundation

day on pews or benches too high for their feet to touch the floor. The
Chart Class children had no books, crayons, drawing paper, colored
blocks and sticks, modeling clay, or any other material with which to
work, experiment, learn, play, or amuse themselves. Lessons in numbers
and reading were rote memorization and unison reciting. Recognition
of words, phrases, numbers, objects, association of words and objects, or
words and number symbols, or words and colors seemed to be incidental
and accidental rather than planned and purposeful. Instruction in Read-
ing hardly existed. Most Reading lessons were periods for which the
teacher had made no preparation and the children operated without
guidance. New words had not been written on the board, broken down
into syllables, marked, pronounced, meanings given, and used in sen-
tences so as to develop understanding of the lessons. Children read
orally in a droning monotone without getting proper pronunciation,
expression, meaning, or understanding. Lessons in other subjects which
required reading were not periods used for instruction, explanation, dis-
cussion, or testing for understanding, but were more oral reading as in
the Reading Class. Short terms, economic insecurity, irregular habits,
sickness, and general casual attitudes and practices added to poor instruc-
tion as causes of over-ageness and retardation. There was little at school
to interest, inspire, or stimulate attendance or effort. Since attendance
was considered the responsibility of parents and children, very few
counties employed personnel to improve attendance until after 1947.
All of these factors contributed to over-ageness and retardation in the
Negro schools.
The kind, amount, and quality of teaching and learning observed in
most of the Negro schools matched the physical facilities provided. Most
of the teachers did not plan and prepare their lessons. They had not
learned how to do either and that both were necessary. Most of the
teaching activities consisted of the assign, memorize, recite procedure or
the sing-song oral reading of lessons during short recitation periods, or
repetitive non-learning activities. Ineffective daily schedules, inequitable
teaching loads, poor organization, untrained teachers, poor attendance,
and perpetuation of traditional practices characterized the operation of
most of the schools. Since ninety per cent of the teachers had no college
[ 16

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training (many had not finished high school) and improvement of
teaching could hardly wait on those employed to attend college in order
to improve their teaching, an in-service program of improvement was
initiated. (The name was coined years later.) A simple plan was made
to try to help all teachers do a better job. A general guide was made
which listed simple suggestions for enrolling beginning children, classi-
fying all students, organizing the school, developing workable daily
schedules, keeping the registers up to date, making and following lesson
plans, grouping children, using study-guide questions, directing study,
developing instructional materials, and following simple effective
teaching procedures.

Since Negro teachers had never met in a county-wide meeting in most
of the counties it should be enlightening to review the practice of hold-
ing teachers' meetings at that time. Holding county-wide teachers' meet-
ings had not developed as a general practice for white teachers. During
the year 1916-17 when I was principal of a two-teacher elementary
school at Hardeetown in Levy County there was no meeting of the
teachers in the county during the year. If a meeting had been called it
would have imposed an expense and hardship on the teachers that
would have been questionable. Travel was accomplished by foot, horse-
back, wagons, and buggies on sand roads.
In 1918-19 when I was principal of the Bronson High School in Levy
County there was no county meeting of teachers. The attitude and
practice regarding teachers' meetings had not changed in the two-year
period. Neither had the roads. If teachers meetings had been called
personnel would hardly have been able to attend. Superintendents,
principals, and teachers apparently felt no need for meeting. The county
was a political unit but was not unified as an educational unit with a
stated philosophy of education, a county plan of education, and stated
educational objectives. Schools and school personnel were isolated from
one another both geographically and professionally. The county super-
intendent did not visit the Hardeetown School or the Bronson School
during my service in either school.

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Southern Education Foundation

During my two years as principal of the Sebring High School in
Highlands County in 1922-24 there was no county meeting of teachers.
This omission might have been due to the background and lack of pro-
fessional interest of the county superintendent (a retired undertaker), or
to the fact that the county was only one year old, having just been created
by the 1921 legislature, and had no professional leadership at the county
level, or to the non-existence of a tradition or pattern of countywide
effort to unify and coordinate the work in the several schools within
the county.
When I became principal of the Dania High School in Broward
County in 1924 we attended two meetings of instructional personnel.
The first was held before schools opened; the second was held a few
months after schools opened. The first was a tri-county meeting of
personnel from Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade counties. This group
of school people called themselves the Royal Palm Education Associa-
tion. These counties had many characteristics in common, such as
geographical location, cosmopolitan population, more personnel with
college training, more wealth, a paved road and a railroad connecting
the county seats in the three counties, tourists, a winter vegetable-growing
economy, and other similarities. The teachers met as one group and
listened to addresses from personnel from the University of Florida,
Peabody College, and the National Education Association. Teachers did
not meet in interest groups for planning their work, agreeing upon
philosophy, selecting materials, and discussing procedures.
The second meeting which took place within the county was somewhat
more local in nature. There was a degree of unity in the county because
distances between communities and schools were shorter, means of
travel were better, and the county had an educated superintendent as
leader. The principals knew each other, but it is doubtful that many
teachers knew each other.
I have narrated these personal experiences to show the isolation of
schools, principals, and teaching personnel that prevailed even among
the white schools, principals, and teaching personnel prior to 1927. The
attitudes and practices regarding Negro schools reflected even more
isolation, retardation, and lack of unity and coordination. It is possible
[ 18]

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that this condition would have continued until the inception of pre-
school planning in 1947 had it not been necessary to do something
immediately to help all the teachers in all the counties in the shortest
time possible in the most economical manner possible.

Due to the lack of general educational preparation, professional prep-
aration, effective organization of the daily work, and preparation and
planning of instruction it was necessary to provide some help to the
teachers immediately which they could apply daily. These helps took
the form of suggestions. They were stated briefly and simply. They
were explained, discussed, demonstrated, and illustrated. When com-
pared with the extensive helps available today they seem very simple.
However, thirty-five years ago they were unknown and difficult innova-
tions and received the natural suspicion, resentment, and resistance that
people manifest when they are called upon to change from practices
with which they are familiar and in which they feel secure.
In order to help all the teachers in every phase of teaching I took my
wife, the former State Supervisor of Teacher-Training, and the most
effective teachers from the Florida A and M College and Bethune-
Cookman College to each county, year after year, to help all the teachers
in one-day county-wide meetings. The teachers were given oral and
mimeographed help on: how to determine the objectives of education;
how to enroll children in the First Grade during the first month of school
only; how to develop readiness for learning to read by teaching the
children to recognize in written form the words and sentences they used
orally; how to teach children in the First Grade so that they would finish
the First Grade in one term; how to group children for instruction and
study; how to teach several grades in one room; how to direct study
groups; how to prepare and plan for teaching each subject; how to
prepare study guide questions; how to make instructional material from
waste material; how to make a balanced workable daily schedule and
follow it; how to fill and mark the register; how to dean, beautify, and
keep the school and grounds sanitary; and how to meet other problems
and needs which existed in the schools at that time. This practice was


Southern Education Foundation

continued until the enactment of legislation in 1947 which provided ten
days of pre-school planning time for all teachers.

Even though I believed and felt that most of the teachers were sin-
cerely interested in improving their performance I did not assume that
all the teachers would apply conscientiously and continuously all the
suggestions and help that had been given. Consequently, upon com-
pleting the countywide meetings in every county I then visited every
teacher at every school. During these visits I checked on registers, daily
schedules, lesson plans, teaching procedures, cleanliness, sanitation, beau-
tification, and all the other practices on which help had been given. I
made a written record of my findings which was shared with the superin-
tendent and used as the basis for planning and providing help at the
countywide meetings the following year. Whenever and wherever
teachers reflected hesitation or reluctance to apply the help given them
they were encouraged to try them several times before reverting to
traditional practices. The number of teachers who successfully followed
the suggestions and applied the helps increased each year. The improved
practices followed by one teacher or several teachers within one school or
several schools stimulated other teachers to do likewise. Success in one
or a few small things inspired and energized teachers to attempt more
improvements. They were always proud of their accomplishments.
Actually, teachers made so much improvement and schools were made
so attractive that superintendents were stimulated to exercise greater
interest in and concern about them. The general outcome was that most
of the teachers improved their performance greatly, children increased
their growth and development, and the schools were made more at-
tractive and more effective.
During the county meetings and school visitations teachers were en-
couraged to attend summer school, enroll in extension classes, and take
correspondence courses. Enrollment and attendance in all three increased
greatly each year and became an established and habitual practice. Those
teachers who had not completed high school did so and enrolled in
college. Those who had not finished the two year normal course did so
and enrolled in senior college. After completing the senior college a few
teachers began to enroll for graduate work. Most of the teachers con-

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cealed their resentment of my urging them to improve their performance
and their preparation when county-wide meetings and school visitations
were initiated over thirty years ago. Today they admit that if they had
not been urged to improve they would not have been ready to participate
in all of the progress that has been made since the new legislation
in 1947.
During my first visits to the Negro schools I was impressed with the
need to improve health, hygiene, and sanitation. The condition of toilets
and drinking and washing facilities, when provided, reflected need for
immediate improvement. Littered floors and grounds indicated that
cleanliness and beautification were not established objectives and prac-
tices in most of the schools. These conditions seemed to indicate that
education was not considered as a means for improving living; that
personal health was considered as a providential gift beyond the ability
and responsibility of education to improve; that hygiene and sanitation
were not practiced by teachers and pupils in everything every day; and
that beautification of school premises was not considered a need, respon-
sibility, or duty of school personnel. These conditions were reflected
partly in absenteeism from school and work on account of illness, high
morbidity rates, early death rates, and high insurance rates. The need
for improvement was so great that for many years the U. S. Office of
Education designated one week in the year as National Negro Health
Week during which Negroes were encouraged to dean up, paint up,
make posters, and put on programs to emphasize improvement of
health, hygiene, and sanitation.
In an effort to help teachers keep toilets dean, provide dean drinking
and washing facilities, keep buildings and grounds dean, teach and
practice personal cleanliness, and beautify the schools several procedures
were followed. One year the Dean of the College of Agriculture of the
Florida A and M College accompanied me to meetings of teachers in
all counties of the state and gave oral and written helps on sanitation
and beautification. The Dean was courteous, respectful, tactful, and
humorous but realistic and effective in helping teachers to see and
recognize their needs and proceed to improve in a planned, organized,


Southern Education Foundation

and continuous manner. The teacher of Health Education at the Florida
A and M College also attended the county meetings and gave oral and
written helps on teaching and practicing personal health. Personnel
from the Florida Tuberculosis and Health Association gave information
on tuberculosis and suggestions on what to do in combating tuberculosis
and other illnesses. During World War II, doctors from the State Board
of Health and County Health Units gave information on tuberculosis,
venereal diseases, and other illnesses to all teachers at county meetings.
Every phase of every school was checked annually for cleanliness, sani-
tation, and beautification. The Rosenwald Fund made an award in each
county to the school that accomplished the most in sanitation and beauti-
fication. The U. S. Office stimulated school and community improve-
ment in cleanliness, health, and sanitation. In order to improve my own
preparation and increase my usefulness in promoting better health and
sanitation in the schools the Florida Tuberculosis and Health Association
paid my expenses to a health seminar at Johns Hopkins University and
a health workshop at the University of North Carolina. It is believed
that all of these efforts were helpful in developing understandings,
attitudes, practices, and habits regarding personal and community health
and sanitation. With the provision of all needed facilities in school
plants constructed since 1947 cleanliness, sanitation, and health have
improved so much that my efforts in this area have been discontinued
and the responsibility for promoting better health and sanitation has
been assumed by personnel in the State Department of Education who
are employed to promote improvement of Health Education.

Supervision of instruction was largely unknown and untried in the
white public schools of Florida prior to the inception of a statewide
compulsory supervisory program in the forties. A few counties like Dade,
Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, Volusia, and Escambia counties employed
one white person to help improve instruction in the white elementary
schools. Supervision was looked upon with suspicion. The concept of su-
pervision which prevailed at that time ran counter to the feeling and
spirit of individualism, self-reliance, self-direction, and independence.
The attitudes, customs, needs, and procedures which characterized a rural

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agrarian people who were forced to be self-reliant ("root pig or die")
also characterized the social institutions which these people established to
serve their needs. Since individuals who were employed to serve in these
institutions were the product of the society being served, they performed
according to their own experiences and the customs of the community in
which they lived and served. Supervision was not considered necessary.
Supervision in secondary schools was not even attempted. Secondary
teachers more than likely would not have tolerated supervision and
would have considered such efforts as intrusion, interference, or med-
dling. Secondary teachers had more status and were more independent
because they had more education and received better salaries than ele-
mentary teachers.
Possibly the manner in which some supervision was attempted at that
time also contributed to the resentment and resistance to supervision. No
doubt some persons who attempted to do supervisory work did so in a
boss-man or foreman-like manner. In a frontier agrarian society the man
in charge of a job was accustomed to and was expected to give orders,
inspect, and require performance according to his personal views, values,
and standards. Generally, the people employed as workers on such jobs
had less education, skill, and knowledge than the boss or foreman. Con-
sequently, there was no questioning his judgment or manner of operat-
ing. However, school people considered themselves above the level of
unskilled workers and able to do their work without direction. Super-
vision resembled inspection and teachers did not voluntarily or graciously
accept inspection. The few white supervisors who were employed in the
larger counties in the early days devoted a large portion or most of their
time to administering standardized tests and compiling scores.
It is interesting to consider the history and development of supervision
in Negro schools under the general conditions which prevailed at that
time, such as the geographical and professional isolation that character-
ized schools, the general lack of concern about Negro schools, the general
poverty of Negroes, the retarded development of most Negroes, and
the general attitude about supervision. Had it not been for the financial
and stimulative help from another foundation it is highly probable that
supervision in Negro schools would have been completely neglected until
supervision in white schools had been provided.


Southern Education Foundation

On April 22, 1907, Miss Anna T. Jeanes, a maiden Quaker lady of
Philadelphia, through a Deed of Trust, created an endowed fund of
$1,000,000.00 to be used to help the small rural Negro schools in the
South. William Howard Taft and other prominent citizens in the North
were asked to serve as trustees to administer the Fund. They knew little
or nothing about the South or rural schools for Negroes in the South.
Luckily they had learned about a white southern educator whose interest
in Negroes and work with Negroes appealed to them as a possible source
of help in complying with the conditions of Miss Jeanes' bequest. Con-
sequently, they invited Dr. James Hardy Dillard, then Dean of the
Graduate School at Tulane University in New Orleans, to advise them
on what to do and how to handle the bequest. The outcome was that
Dr. Dillard was appointed Director of the Anna T. Jeanes Fund and
served until his retirement in 1931. Even though Dr. Dillard knew
much about education he seemed to have had no preconceived plan of
how to use the bequest to attain the objective of the donor.
About this time, Mr. Jackson Davis, Superintendent of Schools in
Henrico County, Virginia, was trying to find some funds to enable the
county to employ the most effective teacher in the rural Negro schools
to help the other teachers improve their schools. Mr. Davis learned of
the Jeanes bequest and asked Dr. Dillard for financial assistance to try
out his idea. The request was granted. The experiment was successful.
Miss Virginia Randolph was employed and became the first Jeanes
Supervisor. Superintendents in other counties in Virginia and in counties
in other states requested and received aid to employ Jeanes Supervisors.
The first Jeanes Supervisor in Florida was employed in Alachua County
in 1910. The number of supervisors increased gradually. During the
depression Jeanes Supervisors were employed in thirty-two counties in
which eighty-two per cent of the Negro teachers employed in the state
taught eighty-four per cent of the Negro children enrolled in public
schools. The Jeanes Fund paid a portion of the salary of the supervisor
and the county paid part of the salary.
The Jeanes Supervisors were not solely supervisors of instruction. They
spent much of their time promoting education among Negro parents,
improving attendance, developing good will, improving relationships

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between the school and other social institutions in the community, es-
pecially the churches, raising money for acquiring sites and constructing
schoolhouses, providing instruction in sanitation, good housekeeping,
gardening, canning, sewing, caring for the sick, and stimulating school
beautification. The Jeanes Supervisor represented the Negro schools and
teachers to the county superintendent and school board and represented
the school officials to the Negro patrons and teachers. She became the
superintendent's assistant in all problems pertaining to Negro schools.
I observed on my first visits to the counties that the work of the Jeanes
Supervisors reflected the need for unification and coordination in some-
what the same general way that the schools within a county and the
counties within the state reflected lack of unification and coordination.
In order to help the Jeanes Supervisors meet the needs of schools and
teachers all the supervisors were invited to a conference in 1928. The
program was unstructured. Each supervisor told in simple manner and
language what she did in her county to improve the schools. There was
much in common in all the reports but each person told something
unique about her county, teachers, or work which broadened the concept
of the work for all the supervisors. We repeated the state conference
for several years as an informal meeting for telling, explaining, and
sharing procedures before we began to plan programs for the improve-
ment of the supervisors themselves and their way of work. The general
idea which guided the Jeanes Supervisors in their work was to give help
where the need was greatest. Dr. Dillard phrased the philosophy and
practice as "Do the next needed thing." The supervisors had a freedom
which enabled them to be flexible and adjust their efforts according to
need. Their way of work was not prescribed and they succeeded accord-
ing to their observation of need, good judgment, good relationships, and
individual initiative.
The nature of the work of the supervisors has changed with the con-
solidation of schools, the transportation of children, the provision of
facilities, instructional materials, and the employment of better educated
teachers. Many of the varied details which they formerly handled have
been assumed by health teachers, nurses, attendance personnel, guidance
personnel, lunchroom managers, textbook managers, and personnel in
charge of materials centers. Today the supervisors spend most of their

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Southern Education Foundation

time coordinating the work of committees of teachers who are attempting
to improve the curriculum, the selection and use of materials, and teach-
ing techniques. They are recognized and respected as professional people
whose services and counsel are sought by patrons, school officials,
principals, and teachers.

After the legislature provided state funds for and required the em-
ployment of supervisors for all schools in all counties some rural counties
with small populations discontinued the employment of Jeanes Super-
visors and employed white supervisors to supervise the schools of both
races. However, at this time the number of Negroes employed by the
counties to improve all phases of education for Negroes is greater than
it was when Jeanes Supervisors were the only supervisory personnel
employed to promote the improvement of Negro schools. Negro per-
sonnel are now employed by many counties to improve attendance, physi-
cal education, lunchrooms, guidance, and instruction in special subjects
in addition to general instruction in all the Negro schools. In rural
counties with small populations white supervisors work with the schools
of both races. In the large counties Directors of Instruction guide and
coordinate the work of large supervisory staffs of supervisors of both
races for all schools.

Florida voluntarily discontinued requesting and receiving assistance
from the Jeanes Fund after the legislature appropriated public funds for
and required the employment of supervisors for all schools in all
counties. The Jeanes Fund was merged with several other Funds which
became the Southern Education Foundation. The Foundation has
adjusted its activities to fit changed conditions but it is still complying
with the request of Miss Jeanes to improve education for Negro youth.

After white people were employed to supervise instruction I worked
with them individually to help them in their work with principals and
teachers in the Negro schools. As the number of white supervisors
increased and as new people were appointed, a week of orientation was
provided for them each year during which they were given information
about all the services available from the State Department. Suggestions
which had been made many times to individuals were made to the entire


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group of new supervisors. The suggestions on "how to work with
Negroes" are repeated here.
"Treat Negroes as people. Treat them as you want them to treat you.
Be truthful, honest, just, and firm with them. Don't try to ingratiate
yourself with them through superficiality, subterfuge, or blandishments.
Their reaction to those procedures is the same as yours. Be sincere in
your statements and your efforts. They recognize sham and pretense
instantly. Be sure of yourself and secure in what you suggest, recom-
mend, or attempt to accomplish. If you are not sure of yourself or feel
insecure in what you attempt to do they sense your uncertainty and
insecurity and respond the same way as you do under similar conditions.
Avoid tricks as a means to accomplish your objectives. They recognize
such maneuvers and extend the respect such efforts deserve. Refrain
from smugness, self-sufficiency, self-righteousness, superiority, and false
piety. They understand such screens and suspect what lies behind them.
Don't try to impress them with your knowledge of the newest and latest
educational concepts, shibboleths, cliches, and slogans. They can sing
the same refrains with better effect than you. Avoid duplicity. Make the
same statements to their backs that you make to their faces. Treat them
in public the same way you treat them in private. Avoid familiarity
unless you extend the same privilege to them at all times and in all
places. Call them by their full names as an expression of personal and
professional recognition and respect. Address them formally and cour-
teously unless your relationships justify more informal salutations. Re-
spect them so that you will have reason to command their respect. Be
honest with them so that they will have cause to be honest with you. Be
firm with them so that they will grow in strength and perform effectively.
Do not hesitate to use the verb require if the situation justifies your doing
so. Avoid the appearance of condescension, patronizing, and of doing
things for them. Work with them. Be professional in all relationships.
Never take advantage of them. Refrain from resorting to the authority
of your status or position. If you do so, you will be rewarded with the
perfunctory performance that your procedure deserves. They need help,
know it, and want it. If you can help them, they will follow your leader-
ship and will be most appreciative and grateful. If you are loyal to
them, they will be loyal to you. If you enjoy working with them, they

Southern Education Foundation

will enjoy working with you. Appeal to their pride, honor, self-respect,
hope, and faith. In summary, emphasize the positive, avoid the negative.
Give of yourself freely and you will enjoy your work with them more
than any work you have ever done before."

Too often education has not been related to other changes affecting the
communities in which the schools were located. A few of these changes
will be listed to illustrate relationships.

When the automobile became available to most people as a means of
transportation all weather roads became indispensable. The sand or
day road usable for buggies and wagons was inadequate. The automobile
on good roads gave people an opportunity to go to places they had never
been before. It affected marketing and purchasing. As a result the
community store dosed or supplemented its sales and service with a gas
station if it happened to be located on a highway. Rural postoffices were
replaced with Rural Free Delivery. The rural church had difficulty in
employing ministers and holding the congregation together. Small farm
operators found it advantageous to sell the homestead and move to town
to seek employment. Labor learned that a cash wage in town gave more
promise and satisfaction in living than share-cropping or renting land
to farm for a living. With the migration of labor, row-crop agriculture
which required much manual labor was replaced by reforestation, pas-
tures, cattle raising, and the use of tractors and trucks. In many areas,
where row-crop agriculture persisted or increased, labor preferred to
live in town and commute daily to the fields or groves in trucks rather
than live in rural areas. Migrant labor, serving a short period of time in
a community and then moving on to another community or state with
the season and crops, became an established way of life for some people
and a social problem for school officials, public health personnel, and
welfare agencies.
Because of all these changes the number of people living in rural
communities decreased. The number of farm units decreased but the
size of the units increased. The operation of the enlarged units resembled
the operation of industrial establishments. More capital was needed.
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More machinery was used. More technical knowledge and skill were
necessary. Changes in traditional practices, customs, and operations in
production and living affected most of the people in every rural
Out of this complex and often painful chain of change came the
consolidation of small community schools, the establishment of large
school centers, the transportation of children from home to school at
public expense, and the extension of "common education" to include
high school. The number of small schools decreased to a small fraction
of the former number and large schools became the typical school.

Thirty-five years ago principals in most of the schools carried a full
teaching load in addition to their administrative duties. Due to the
simplicity of the society served and the simplicity of school organization
and administration the work of the principal at that time was simple as
compared with principals' work today. The principal operated according
to the philosophy and pattern of the time. He made and executed the
policies for the operation of the school. Teachers were not expected to
work in committees and to help state the philosophy of the school, the
objectives of the school, and the policies on which the school operated.
The school reflected the concepts, experiences, and training of the
principal. If the principal was limited in his understandings of human
nature, educational needs, instructional procedures, and learning pro-
cesses the tendency was to be autocratic and self-sufficient in the adminis-
tration of the school. All the principals had never met as a professional
group from the entire state. The State Department had never assumed
responsibility for helping them to improve their administration.

In order to help principals improve operation of their schools they
were invited to a conference at the Florida A and M College in 1930.
This innovation was too big a change from custom and tradition to
become successful immediately. Three principals attended. The invita-
tion was issued again in 1931 with a larger attendance. The practice was
continued and within a few years the attitude, practice, and habit of
attending a meeting for Negro principals called by the State Department

Southern Education Foundation

of Education was well established. A small ruse was used to stimulate
attendance at these meetings.

During my student days at the University of Florida I had observed
that President A. A. Murphree had popularized the University of Florida
with the white high school graduates by holding a track meet at the
University of Florida each spring to which the athletes were invited as
guests of the University. A state conference of white principals was held
there simultaneously. Through this annual spring athletic contest hun-
dreds of boys in the Florida high schools learned of the existence of
the University of Florida and were stimulated to extend their education
by attending the University of Florida. I suggested to Dr. J. R. E. Lee,
President of the Florida A and M College, that an athletic contest be
initiated at the A and M College for the dual purpose of helping Negro
high school youth learn of the existence of the A and M College and of
inducing Negro principals to attend the annual conference planned for
them at the same time. The idea proved most effective and attendance
became so large and imposed so heavily on the facilities of the college
that the two activities had to be separated. By that time, the idea and
practice of attending the conference for principals had become so well
established that there was no loss in attendance due to the separation of
the two activities. These annual conferences have been very helpful in
extending the vision and understandings of the principals of Negro
schools, improving school administration, and inducing principals to
increase their professional training.

Shortly after World War II most of the counties in all the southern
states were consolidating small schools and were constructing large
schools. It was realized that in many cases the principals of these large
schools were not prepared for their new responsibilities. The men em-
ployed in the state departments of education in all the southern states
responsible for promoting improvement of education for Negroes were
invited to a meeting in 1952 by Dr. J. C. Dixon, Executive Vice-Presi-
dent of the Southern Education Foundation, to study the problem. On
account of the fast improving economic conditions, the consolidation of
small schools, the construction of large schools, and changing social
conditions the group agreed that it would be necessary for principals in

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the large schools to provide guidance, coordination, research, and in-
terpretation if their schools were to help teachers, children, and patrons
adjust to changed conditions. At a later conference which included
representative college personnel and school principals the group con-
sidered the needs of principals and how to meet those needs. Since needs
are based on tasks a list of task areas was stated as a guide for helping
principals improve their performance. The list included curriculum and
instruction, pupil-personnel work, staff-personnel work, school finance
and business management, organization and administration, and public

The Southern Education Foundation made small grants to the state
departments of education in each of the southern states to stimulate the
improvement of principals through workshops, work conferences, and
professional training on the post-graduate level. All the states in the
South initiated a program for the improvement of leadership to serve
principals, assistant principals, and supervisors. State and regional in-
stitutions of higher education cooperated to provide professional training.

Through help from the Foundation a program for the improvement
of leadership was initiated in Florida which included the following
activities: (1) Since 1953 an annual Leadership Work Conference has
been held each summer at Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach.
Attendance has ranged from 125 to 185 persons. This work conference
has been most effective in providing an opportunity for principals and
supervisors to devote a week to study and discussion of their problems.
It has contributed greatly toward the improvement of leadership in the
Negro schools of both the administrators and supervisors. (2) A three-
week workshop for principals and supervisors was initiated in 1953 and
has been conducted every summer at the Florida A and M University.
(3) Grants were made available which enabled selected principals to
attend midwestern universities and initiate post-master's graduate work.
These grants have been discontinued. (4) In place of these grants
scholarship aid was provided to help selected principals and supervisors
initiate post-master's graduate work at eight cooperating universities in
the southern states. (5) The Specialists in Elementary and Secondary
Education for Negroes in the State Department of Education visited as


Southern Education Foundation

many schools as possible every year and worked with principals and
supervisors to help them improve their leadership competencies. (6) I
held conferences with all the principals in every county every year to
help them extend their understandings of their responsibilities and to
suggest ways in which they could assume and execute their responsibili-
ties more effectively. All of these steps have contributed toward the
professional growth of both principals and supervisors and have helped
them to perform their work more effectively.

The list of task areas prepared by the group of state, college, and
secondary personnel served as a general guide in planning the programs
for the annual Leadership Work Conferences. Topics have been studied
and discussed as follows: Curriculum and Instruction-24 topics;
Pupil-Personnel-4 topics; Staff-Personnel-14 topics; Finance and Busi-
ness Management-1 topic; Organization and Structure-3 topics; Pub-
lic Relations-2 topics; and Miscellaneous-12 topics.

The maturation of principals has been a gradual process. At first
most of the principals seemed to perform their work in a somewhat
mechanical fashion. They seemed to be following a pattern they had
learned from others. When questioned as to why they followed a certain
pattern or performed in a certain manner they were at a loss to tell why
or justify the procedure. Those who had some professional training
talked the language (slogans, cliches, and shibboleths of education
courses) but for the most part continued to perform their work largely
in a mechanical fashion. Gradually, they began to mature in their way
of work. They began to analyze their procedures, see relationships be-
tween their professional training and their situations, and to make plans
and perform on sound judgments of conditions and needs. Most of the
principals are now in or are about to enter this stage of performance.
Each year more principals reflect greater intellectual integrity, courage,
and realism in the manner in which they recognize weakness in all forms
in themselves, their students, their procedures, and their performance.
Each year they manifest more voluntary effort and initiative in perform-
ing their work and they seem to slough off more and more of the
mechanical and casual procedure which has been a characteristic for such
a long time. Most of the principals now understand that in our way of


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life there is no ceiling on initiative or accomplishment and that they
progress according to the quantity and quality of service they render.

An innovation was made in the late twenties when countywide teach-
ers meetings for Negroes were initiated and held in all the counties.
Personnel from the State Department of Education and the colleges
disseminated information on what to do and how to improve instruc-
tion. In 1947 another innovation was made. The legislature provided
the tenth month for pre-school planning and post-school evaluation. This
provision was a great step forward. The pre-school planning time
provided opportunity for all personnel within a county to make com-
prehensive plans for the work they intended to perform before the
children arrived to be taught. Even though general approval was given
by most people to the new plan it was assumed that principals, teachers,
and supervisors needed guidance for using both the pre-school planning
time and the post-school evaluation time effectively. In order to help
school personnel make an effective transition from no pre-school plan-
ning and post-school evaluation to an organized and constructive use
of the time, suggestions were developed for their guidance. These sug-
gestions were bare outlines to be filled out by personnel within the
During the Orientation Conferences for New Supervisors the follow-
ing suggestions were given for more effective use of the time scheduled
for pre-school planning and post-school evaluation.

Pre-school Planning
"The supervisor should work closely with principals and teachers in
planning pre-school activities. He should be certain that the state pro-
gram of education is explained so that principals and teachers will have
the information for gaining an understanding of how the State helps to
provide an educational program for all children everywhere in the State.
"Information should be given on the state's efforts to assure the pro-
vision of safe and adequate sites, buildings, instructional material, text-
books, libraries, transportation, teacher salaries, and other facilities so
that the teachers will have an opportunity to acquire an understanding


Southern Education Foundation

of what is being attempted in Florida to provide a comprehensive pro-
gram of public education.
"The supervisor should have the educational program for his county
so well outlined and stated that the teachers will have an opportunity to
acquire information and understanding of the county school organiza-
tion, policies, administration, and operation. All principals and teachers
should be provided copies of the county school calendar and county
school policies so that they will be informed and can perform their
duties within the framework of the calendar and policies.
"County-wide departmental meetings should be held in which the
instructional personnel state as nearly and comprehensively as possible,
using the state bulletins as guides, what they plan and hope to teach
and accomplish in each department. Instructional personnel should en-
deavor to state their purposes and objectives in terms of understandings
to be developed, desirable attitudes to be promoted, desirable skills to
be developed, desirable habits to be developed, and meaningful and
useful knowledge to be acquired. It is suggested that they refrain from
expressing objectives in terms of quantitative measures unless the quan-
titative measures are expressed in terms of understandings, attitudes,
skills, habits, and knowledge.
"Supervisors should work with individual faculty groups and help them
think through their school policies and methods of operation so that, just
as much as possible, the operation of the school can be reduced to the
application of enlightened policies and decision-making which char-
acterize good school operation.
"After the necessary policies have been made, supervisors should work
with the teachers in each department of the schools to help them plan
their instruction. Their plans should be correlated with state and county
plans. It is suggested that the following outline or a similar procedure
be used for helping teachers plan their work:
1. State the point of view from which the subject matter is
taught (philosophy).
2. State the general and specific objectives for each subject.
3. Select the materials to be used.


Occasional Paper

4. Determine the procedures to be followed.
5. Test for results.
6. Evaluate the above.

"The supervisor should be thoroughly familiar with state curriculum
bulletins, adopted textbooks, other instructional materials available in
each school, and the books available in each school library. Unless the
supervisor has this information it is difficult to see how he can help
teachers plan their instruction.

Actual Work in Improving Instruction
"It is suggested that the supervisor make a plan of work for himself in
which he will calmly discuss each phase of the educational program of
each principal in order to be certain that the principal knows, under-
stands, and cooperates with him in his efforts to improve instruction.
This cannot be done hurriedly, superficially, or loftily. The same is true
with regard to work with the individual teacher. The work with the
individual teacher should be calm, firm, unsensational, non-glamorous,
definite, and purposeful. In operating with the individual teacher the
supervisor will need to exercise persistence and patience so as to help
personnel realize the need for organized and planned procedures and
follow such procedures in their instruction. Many teachers have never
learned to perform their work in this manner, systematically, and con-
tinuously day after day. This is, in effect, the most effective type of in-
service education. In order to work effectively the relationships between
the supervisor and the teachers need to be mutually respectful and
truthful. Knowledge of materials and methods is indispensable for
helping teachers improve their procedures. The supervisor should never
wait for invitations to visit teachers in classrooms. He should visit as
many classrooms as possible and help every teacher according to ob-
served needs. He should be respectful of all persons he works with,
mature and responsible in all his behavior and statements.

Post-School Evaluation
"It is the duty and responsibility of the supervisor to recognize that
sometimes much time is wasted in the post-school evaluation period.

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Southern Education Foundation

The supervisor should lead principals and teachers into an effective use
of this time. The evaluation should be done by individual teachers for
their work, departments for departmental work, faculties for the opera-
tion of the individual schools, and by all personnel for the county school
system as a unit.

"It is suggested that the supervisor direct his abilities and efforts to
help develop this kind of post-school evaluation so that principals,
teachers, and county personnel will know more about what has been
accomplished in the schools during the year and use this knowledge for
enlightened planning and improving performance later."

For the first several years the use of pre-school planning time and
post-school evaluation time was not very effective. However, school
personnel gradually assumed more responsibility, exercised more initia-
tive, and improved the use of the time each year. At first the tendency
was to perpetuate a passive role on the part of county personnel by in-
viting State Department of Education and college personnel to make
addresses. In time this procedure was replaced with more group work
by principals, supervisors, and teachers. As county officials assumed
more responsibility for the way in which pre-school planning and post-
school evaluation were handled school personnel became more responsi-
ble in the use of the time. It is hoped that these innovations have become
a permanent part of the Florida school program and that school per-
sonnel will use these periods for increasing and improving their effec-
tiveness throughout the school year.

Instructional materials are indispensable for effective education. The
dearth of instructional material in the Negro schools contributed to the
degree of retardation of Negro children. Prior to 1925 parents provided
textbooks for their children. It was the custom for a set of books to serve
all the children in a family. Due to the poverty of Negroes many fami-
lies were hardly able to provide the few adopted texts. In 1925 the
legislature provided free textbooks for Grades One through Six. In
1933 the provision of free textbooks was extended to include Grades
Seven through Twelve. In 1937 the State Department employed a man-

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ager of Textbooks and Publications. It was customary to requisition new
books for white schools and pass the used books to the Negro schools.
Most Negro schools never received new books and new adoptions until
the new school legislation of 1947. After that legislation counties began
to requisition, purchase, and provide instructional materials on a per
capital basis regardless of the racial identity of the school. Since 1947
counties have employed personnel to be responsible for library services,
materials centers, and to manage the requisition and distribution of text-
books, library books, and other instructional materials. Part of the prog-
ress of Negro children since 1947 is doubtless due to the improved and
increased provision of instructional materials as well as modern school
plants and better qualified teachers.

During the twenties many people had become artificially properous.
Following the stock market crash of 1929 many people lost their jobs
and others lost their wealth. Many people were reduced to the barest
necessities for existence. At this time the Sloan Foundation attempted
to help public school personnel focus more attention on the realities and
necessities for existence. Emphasis was placed on food, clothing, and
shelter. Florida was one of the three states selected for experimentation
and exploration in relating instruction in school to the essentials for
living. Teachers were encouraged and assisted in developing units of
instruction on clothing, food, and shelter. Children were taught and
stimulated to develop some home project related to at least one of these
necessities. Rural schools were encouraged to plant and raise school
gardens. We do not know how much carry-over of these experiences
was made but we hoped that the instruction and experience at school
would develop the attitude, skill, knowledge, and habit of doing some-
thing at home to improve the comfort of the home, the diet, and the
clothing of the family. This effort and action led into another and
larger concept of using resources.

Many of the people in Florida like many people in other parts of the
the nation had such an abundance of land, timber, water, wild life, fresh

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Southern Education Foundation

water fish, and seafood that they exploited these resources as if the
supply was limitless. Very few people saw and understood what was
happening. Virgin land was cultivated in such a way that in a few years
much of the top soil had been washed into bottoms, creeks, rivers, gulf,
and ocean. Timber was cut and burned to clear land for crops. Timber
was turpentined, cut, sawed, and shipped away. Cut over lands were
burned to get rid of snakes and old tough grass so that young grass
might provide grazing for cattle. Most of the people who burned did
not know that they were burning seedlings, young trees, and many times
valuable stands of grown timber which held the top soil in place, al-
lowed rain water to permeate the soil and maintain a high water table.
Neither did they realize that they were destroying jobs for timber and
sawmill personnel and material for construction. Fresh water sources
and streams became polluted and fresh water fish died from pollution
and sedimentation. The breeding place for wild life was destroyed and
destructive pests increased. Wind and water erosion increased the
destruction caused by poor practices initiated and perpetuated by im-
patient and short-sighted people.

Those who realized what had happened and what was still happening
sought to curtail the destruction, and to help all people understand that
they were destroying the land that supported them, to develop attitudes
and habits of conservation and wise use of all resources. As a result,
several agencies were created to spearhead conservation.

Representatives of these agencies and selected school personnel
organized a Resource-Use Education Committee to develop materials
for use in the schools and to promote instruction about our resources.
Colleges and universities were encouraged to provide preparation for
teachers to teach conservation. Workshops and conferences were held
for informing school officials, supervisors, administrators, and teachers
of the condition of our resources and the need to develop, through edu-
cation, enlightened attitudes and habits in the wise use and conservation
of our resources. Governors gave official sanction to these efforts by
appointing the members of the committee and designating it as the
Governors Committee on Resource-Use Education. Research has been
conducted. Textbooks, films, and other instructional materials have

[ 38]

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been developed. A person in the State Department of Education has
been designated to assume responsibility for promoting instruction re-
lating to resources. Leaders within the counties have been designated
as contact persons for promoting and coordinating the work in the
counties. Much has been accomplished but most remains to be done.
These efforts have led to widening our efforts to include more factors
that influence our economic well-being. We are now beginning to pro-
mote understanding of economic factors that enable people to serve their
needs, maintain a high standard of living, a stable social order, a sound
currency, and an effective government.

During the depression many people were unable to repair their houses
or build new houses. During the war materials and labor were unavail-
able for repair or construction. Housing for most Negroes and many
white people had always been of poor quality. Many existing houses
needed renovation, repairs, running water, electricity, glass windows,
screens, closets, shelves, and cabinets, and many new houses were needed.
Personnel in the State Department of Education and the Agricultural
Extension Service formed a voluntary advisory committee to help people
on farms and in small communities improve their houses. Plans and
suggestions were developed and distributed for repairing and improving
existing houses and building new houses. These plans and suggestions
were made available to people through county agents, home demonstra-
tion agents, and county supervisors. The workers in the counties re-
ported that thousands of improvements were made through use of the
plans and many new homes were built by plans developed by the com-
mittee and distributed by county personnel.

In our rural agrarian society and economy it was necessary for every
able-bodied person to be self-supporting, self-directing, and self-reliant.
In times of sickness, misfortune, or minor disasters neighbors and friends
of unfortunate persons voluntarily gave labor, food, clothing, and shelter
to those in need. Those too old to work lived with their kinsfolk. This
meant only another plate at the table, a chair by the fire, and a place to
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Southern Education Foundation

sleep. Elderly people, regardless of kinship or sex, were honored and
cared for by other members of the family. Since most of the people
lived in the country and on farms there was usually plenty of home-
produced food for the additional person or persons. In most rural areas
there was little organized charity and governmental agencies for ad-
ministering welfare as we know it today had not been established. Of
course, there were ne'er-do-wells, but they were recognized for what they
When rural people moved to town they left the potato-bank, smoke-
house, pantry, corn crib, vegetable garden, chickens, and milk cow.
Instead of producing the necessities for living, they received a cash wage
for their labor and paid cash for the food, clothing, shelter, and services
they consumed. When the depression struck, many people, both the
industrious and the shiftless, were without employment. As a result,
they had no income for getting food, clothing, shelter, or services. For
those who remained on the farm disposal of agricultural production
became a problem. The "food stamp plan" was inaugurated to help
the needy as well as to dispose of agricultural production. Agricultural
commodities were distributed to schools as a means of helping farmers
and also feeding children. Prior to this time a very few Negro schools
operated cafeterias or lunch rooms. In most places where lunch was
served the responsibility was often assumed and executed by the Parent-
Teacher Association. Very few counties considered the operation of
lunch rooms as public school responsibility. When the agricultural
commodities were distributed to the schools the teachers arranged a
make-shift kitchen for preparing the food. Almost all Negro schools
acquired an oil-burning range and the teachers divided the time between
teaching and cooking. Older students helped with the preparation, serv-
ing, and cleaning. Children brought their plates, saucers, bowls, and
cutlery from home. At least eighty-five per cent of the Negro schools
received the commodities and served food to the children.
After the War the State Department of Education assumed leadership
for promoting the preparation and serving of a nutritious school lunch.
Modern facilities and fixtures for preparing and serving food were
provided as part of the school plant. Lunchroom managers and workers
were employed, trained, and supervised to perform their work according


Occasional Paper

to standards adopted by the State Department of Education and the
State Board of Health. Children had an opportunity to eat good food,
conducive to their development. A new addition had been made to the
school program. Counties became large purchasers of kitchen equipment
and food, and preparers and servers of food. Some children still bring
a packed lunch but most children pay twenty-five to thirty-five cents and
eat a balanced nutritious meal in the lunchroom. Needy children are
certified to the school by the welfare agency and these children perform
a service to help pay for the free lunches they consume. The old pattern
has changed. Serving lunch is now a part of the school program. Chil-
dren are better fed, healthier, and as a result make more normal progress
in school.
The 1930 Census showed that eighteen and eight-tenths per cent of
all adult Negroes in Florida were illiterate. This degree of illiteracy was
the result of lack of opportunity, or irresponsible use of opportunity, or
inability of individuals to profit from the opportunity, or the failure of
the schools to be effective. Since this condition had a long tradition most
people did not manifest much concern about it. In an effort to help
improve this condition Jeanes Supervisors and public school teachers
were encouraged to organize classes to teach illiterate adults to read,
write, and use arithmetic. Since county school officials did not include
this activity in their traditional concept of public school responsibilities
these efforts were sporadic and short lived. However, in the late thirties
classes in Adult Education were initiated and conducted under the
Works Progress Administration. These classes enrolled large numbers
of Negro adults and were very helpful in reducing illiteracy. This work
was discontinued shortly after World War II began.
After the War the State Department of Education assumed respon-
sibility for promoting educational opportunity for adults. Financial aid
was made available to counties for employment and payment of teachers
of adults. Thousands of adult Negroes have used this opportunity to
acquire literacy and thousands have received high school diplomas.
Adult education is one of the greatest opportunities available for in-
dividuals to increase and improve vocational skills as well as general
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Southern Education Foundation

educational development. Now that Florida has developed a balance
between agriculture and industry and since industry is increasing in
Florida, adult education must be increased in order to prepare more
adults for employment in industry and retrain other adults for employ-
ment in new jobs that require new skills. The continuous adjustment
from rural living and agricultural employment to urban living and in-
dustrial employment means that adults with limited formal education
need organized and planned guidance in order to make an effective
transition in their work and way of living.

Secondary education for Negroes has been provided rather rapidly
since 1947. Prior to that time the growth was slow. In 1927-28 only
eleven counties enrolled Negro children through the Twelfth Grade.
Only 2,073 children were enrolled in Grades Nine through Twelve.
By 1947 fifty-three counties enrolled children through the Twelfth
Grade. Thirty-two thousand six hundred sixty-two children were en-
rolled in Grades Seven through Twelve. Urban communities and
counties provided secondary education before rural communities made
similar provision. Economic conditions, tax income, custom, and tra-
dition contributed to the late start and slow development of high schools
for Negroes in rural areas. A few rural communities received some aid
from another foundation which stimulated growth. A statement about
that foundation is appropriate here.
In 1887 a prosperous New England merchant by the name of John F.
Slater, who realized how the government and economy of the southern
states had been destroyed by the war between the states, established a
foundation for the purpose of helping to provide high school opportuni-
ties for Negroes in the southern states. For the first twenty years grants
from the Slater Fund were made to private Negro academies, seminaries,
and colleges. About 1907 the Directors of the Fund asked Dr. J. H.
Dillard, President of the Jeanes Fund, to survey the use made of the
grants to these institutions. Dr. Dillard made the study and reported
that the grants had not been used effectively to attain the objective of
the donor. He explained that the provision of high school opportunities
for Negroes in the southern states must ultimately be assumed by the
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counties. He recommended that the practice of making grants to private
Negro institutions be discontinued and that grants be made to county
school systems to stimulate and encourage the provision of public high
school opportunities for Negroes. Due to the dearth of high school
opportunities in rural areas for white children at that time it was deemed
inadvisable to use the term "high school" in providing additional educa-
tional opportunities for Negroes. Consequently, the name, County Train-
ing School, was used. The grants from the Fund were used to stimulate
county school boards to add grades, employ teachers, and provide equip-
ment for teaching Negro high school youth. The schools that were
selected to receive this aid were usually located in rural areas which
had less wealth for providing and supporting education. Several coun-
ties in Florida requested and received aid from the Slater Fund. How-
ever, requests for aid were discontinued before 1940. The Slater Fund
was merged with the Jeanes Fund, the Peabody Fund, and the Virginia
Randolph Fund to become the Southern Education Foundation. The
new Foundation has adjusted its operation to the changed conditions
but is still helping all the southern states improve education for Negroes
in line with current needs.

After the 1947 legislation counties were able to make and follow
comprehensive plans and provide full programs of education for all the
children. These plans and programs were based on surveys which rec-
ommended the location of school centers, size of sites, grades to be
taught, kind and quantity of facilities to be provided, and areas to be
served. As a result rural Negro children are now transported to large
centers where high schools offer several track curricula instead of the
college preparatory curriculum only. Enrollment in the junior and
senior high schools has increased from 6,727 in 1927 to 70,458 in 1960.

In 1927 only one Negro high school was accredited by the State
Department of Education and none was accredited by the Southern
Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. At this time 106 of the
115 high schools are accredited by the State Department of Education
and 68 are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Sec-
ondary Schools. "Common education" for Negroes has been extended
to include secondary education.

Southern Education Foundation

Formal instruction in canning, preserving, preparing food, making
clothes, maintaining a home, and caring for the sick was not considered
necessary until relatively recently. Traditionally, mothers taught daugh-
ters, and neighbors exchanged recipes. Procedures and customs were
passed along, without benefit of research, and became part of the general
culture pattern. When "Domestic Science" was first taught it dealt with
the occasional and often superficial aspects of home life. However, as
economic conditions and ways of earning a living changed people recog-
nized the day-to-day value of, need for, and satisfaction from the knowl-
edge and skills learned in Four-H work and Home Making classes.
Home Making is now taught to all girls, and some boys, in all high
schools. The result of this change in teaching is that houses and prem-
ises have been made more attractive; girls and women are better
groomed; the entire family eats more digestible and nourishing food;
and sick people receive more intelligent attention.

Instruction in Agriculture has had a similar history. Fathers taught
sons and neighbors helped each other and exchanged knowledge and
skills. Experienced farmers were very "sot" in their ways and scoffed
at the idea that a county agent could teach them anything about farming
or that teachers of agriculture in the high school could teach their sons
anything which they did not already know. However, demonstrations
by county agents and vocation agriculture teachers showed that every-
thing could be done in a better way and that larger yield and greater
profit were the outcome. The result is that many high schools teach
vocational agriculture. The boys learn something useful. They are
recognized and rewarded in proportion to their development and pro-
duction. Every phase of agriculture has been improved. People engaged
in agriculture have gained more status, are more self-respecting, respect-
able, self-reliant, self-directing, affluent, and influential in community,
county, and state activities.
The lack of provision of education in Trades and Industry apparently
reflected the general absence of industry in the state. Whenever and
wherever trades were taught the provisions reflected the needs and
opportunities available in the community. In addition to these factors


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a social influence existed. It was a common understanding and attitude
that the more capable students enrolled in the college preparatory cur-
riculum and the less able students enrolled in other courses or quit
school. Also, many parents and students acted on the assumption and
illusion that education should relieve a person of all forms of manual
work. These attitudes and tendencies persist in spite of the recent in-
crease of industry in the state, the need for, and the provision of tech-
nical training, and the high compensation for craftsmen and technicians.

Even though nearly all of the large secondary schools provide training
in some trade all secondary schools are challenged to provide training
for most high school youth that will prepare them for employment by
industry upon graduation. This need is acute in all high schools but
the need seems to be recognized less in small high schools. Thousands
of boys who quit school before graduation, or graduate, are unable to
attend college or profit from college attendance. They enter the labor
market without skills and compete for jobs that are decreasing or non-
existent. Failure to provide needed training now means unemployment,
social disorder, and relief payments later.

Economic improvement and the need for special training have in-
creased so rapidly since World War II that even high school education
is no longer considered sufficient for enabling youth to perform ef-
fectively in an industrial and technical society. The state is attempting
to meet the need for education beyond high school by establishing junior
colleges within commuting distance of most of the high school graduates
in the state. The curriculum of the junior college is planned to serve as
a terminal program for many youth, provide the first two years of liberal
arts college, and provide additional vocational and technical training
beyond that which high schools provide. Thirteen junior colleges for
Negroes are now in operation and two more will begin operation next
year. Others have been authorized by the legislature and will start
operation as soon as the counties can provide facilities and staff.

All of the presidents of the Negro junior colleges, except one, were
principals of high schools in Florida before they were appointed to

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Southern Education Foundation

their present positions. Their training and experience have been in ele-
mentary education, secondary education, and some vocational education.
These men needed some professional training in junior college philos-
ophy, organization, administration, supervision, and instruction in order
to execute their new responsibilities effectively. In order to help these
administrators acquire the elements of professional training in junior
college work the Southern Education Foundation provided scholarship
aid for them to attend summer school to study junior college work. Some
of the men have been able to secure professional leave from their work
to attend summer school. Others have not been so fortunate. It is
hoped that this procedure can and will be continued until all of the
administrative personnel in the junior colleges will have had a minimum
of one full summer of professional training in junior college work.

In 1927 the State of Florida provided educational opportunity in
higher education for Negroes at the Florida A and M College, Tallahas-
see. Three church supported colleges provided opportunity at Edward
Waters College (AME) Jacksonville, the Florida Normal and Indus-
trial College (Baptist) St. Augustine, and Bethune-Cookman College
(Methodist) at Daytona Beach. All four institutions enrolled and
taught students in the elementary and high school grades in addition to
college work. Elementary education was provided to accommodate stu-
dents from counties where the upper elementary grades were not taught,
or the short terms did not give students a full year's work, or the
quality of instruction in elementary schools did not prepare children to
perform successfully in high school. Instruction in high school subjects
and grades was provided by the four colleges for the same reasons. It
was obvious that the colleges were stretching their limited resources too
far to perform effectively.

During my early visits to the colleges I observed that the presidents
and other personnel employed by the colleges had almost no contact
with other college personnel and had recourse to very little professional
literature for guidance for improvement of their work. Libraries and
science equipment were very inadequate for the work the colleges were


Occasional Paper

attempting. In order to help all personnel improve their work a series
of activities was initiated.

First, a group of consultants from the University of Florida was taken
to each college. The group was composed of the registrar, the business
manager, and heads of several departments. These consultants studied
all procedures in each college and submitted recommendations for im-
provement. The recommendations affected business management, em-
ployment of personnel, admission of students, record keeping, course
offerings, library books, science equipment, and quality of instruction.
The private colleges were advised to limit their work to the first two
years of college and to concentrate on preparing teachers for the ele-
mentary schools. The General Education Board was asked to make a
grant to each private college for the purchase of library books and
science equipment contingent upon the acceptance and execution of the
recommendations of the consultants from the University of Florida. All
of the private colleges adopted and followed the recommendations of
the consultants. Elementary, secondary, and senior college work were
discontinued. The colleges concentrated their work on the junior college
level and the preparation of teachers for elementary schools. (At that
time certificates were issued to normal school graduates to teach in the
elementary schools.) The Florida A and M College also followed the
recommendations of the consultants, adjusted all its procedures to im-
prove business management, admissions, record keeping, course offer-
ings, employment of personnel, and instruction. The A and M College
agreed to accept the graduates from the private junior colleges for senior
college work. The General Education Board granted fellowships to A
and M College department heads to up-grade the faculty and improve
instruction. This initial procedure proved so useful that the practice of
taking university personnel to the colleges to render consultant service
was continued until recently.

Second, following the first visit by university consultants, meetings of
the four college presidents, deans, registrars, business managers, and
heads of departments were initiated and held annually. These meetings
helped to establish rapport between personnel in the colleges, established
standard operating procedures, facilitated transfer of credit, improved
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Southern Education Foundation

all phases of operation, and developed a high degree of unity and fel-
lowship among the colleges.
Third, in 1935 when the University of Florida initiated General
Education, university personnel were taken to the Negro colleges to
explain the organization and operation of the comprehensive courses.
Ten conferences were held at the University of Florida for orienting
personnel from the four Negro colleges on General Education.
Fourth, because I had no professional preparation for or experience
in college administration I tried to prepare myself to be of help to the
colleges by taking professional courses in College and University Ad-
ministration, the College Registrar, and the Junior College. This prep-
aration was most useful in my efforts to be helpful to the colleges.
Following the legislation which provided for the organization of the
Teacher Education Advisory Council and after the employment by the
State Department of Education of a person to work solely with the col-
leges to guide teacher education, I discontinued my work with the
colleges in order that the Teacher Education Advisory Council and
the Director of Teacher Education could assume and carry on the work
which had been initiated and promoted.

When efforts to improve college work were initiated there was no
accredited college for Negroes in Florida and no procedures whereby
colleges for Negroes could be accredited within the state or region. In
order to move from this "No Man's Land" status the State Department
of Education assumed responsibility for approving the colleges for
training teachers. Gradually, leaders in the several southern states
realized how untenable the situation was and initiated steps to accredit
colleges for Negroes through the Southern Association of Colleges and
Secondary Schools. Over a period of approximately thirty years the
vacuum in which Negro colleges in Florida and the other southern states
operated with regard to accreditation has changed completely. The
Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools now accredits
and grants membership in the Association to colleges for Negroes on
the same basis as it does for colleges for white youth. The three private

Occasional Paper

Negro colleges have become four-year institutions. The State Depart-
ment of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Sec-
ondary Schools approve the Florida A and M University, Bethune-
Cookman College, and the Florida Normal and Industrial Memorial
College. Edward Waters College was accredited, but was put on pro-
bation this year.

In addition to courses in Professional Education, workshops have been
provided at the colleges for approximately twenty years, to which school
personnel could bring their problems and use the resources of the in-
stitutions (consultants and materials) for developing solutions to their
problems individually or as groups. The workshops have been useful
and helpful, but they have failed to serve the large number of school
personnel needing help. It now seems that professional improvement
cannot be left to summer school, work conferences, or workshops en-
tirely but must become a year round on-the-job activity. The Institute
for Continuing Higher Education might serve as the means for enabling
institutions of higher education to expand their off-campus work and
also become service institutions not only for professional public school
personnel but also for other groups in need of up-grading and

Shortly after the end of World War II Negroes were employed in the
Division of Instruction in the State Department of Education to help
improve administration and instruction in Negro schools. Mr. R. V.
Moore served one year to work with Negro secondary schools before
accepting appointment as President of Bethune-Cookman College. Mr.
W. E. Combs was appointed to succeed Mr. Moore and is still serving
as Specialist in Secondary Education. Mrs. E. P. Jones was appointed
as Specialist in Elementary Education and served until she was compelled
to retire because of age. Dr. Regina Goff was appointed to succeed
Mrs. Jones. Dr. Goff resigned after one year to return to college teach-
ing. Mrs. Minnie H. Fields was then appointed and is still serving.
All of these people have been effective in the performance of their work


Southern Education Foundation

which is reflected by improved organization, administration, supervision,
instruction, and learning. Their services are requested by personnel on
all levels within the counties.

Promotion of improvement of education for Negroes is not the ex-
clusive responsibility of personnel in the State Department of Education
employed specifically for that purpose. In all my efforts to improve every
phase of education for Negroes I have sought and received help from
personnel in the universities, other agencies, and especially other State
Department personnel. All personnel in the State Department of Edu-
cation have developed the attitude and habit of working with all schools
regardless of racial identity. The guiding philosophy is to give help
where it is needed. County school officials and supervisory personnel
work in the same manner.

Many people and factors have contributed to the improvement of
education for Negroes in Florida during the last thirty-five years. Some
of the people, who have exerted leadership that made improvement
possible, are the three state superintendents under whom I have worked,
governors who served from 1927 to 1962, legislators, the State Board
of Education, the State Board of Control, county school officials, super-
visory staffs, and many Negro leaders and teachers. The principles stated
and promoted by Mr. W. S. Cawthon, State Superintendent from 1922
to 1937, laid the foundation for state responsibility for education, for
genuineness, thoroughness, and integrity at all levels and in all phases
of education. Mr. Cawthon was a firm believer in equality of justice
and opportunity for all people regardless of geographical location, eco-
nomic status, social position, sex, or racial identity. Even though coun-
ties at that time were largely independent of the State in the operation
of their schools, Mr. Cawthon continuously encouraged improvement of
educational opportunities for Negroes. Mr. Colin English, who served
as State Superintendent from 1937 to 1949, provided flexibility, resili-
ency, and resourcefulness in leadership at a time of world upheaval,

Occasional Paper

World War II, confusion, governmental experimentation, departure
from established concepts and practices, and innovation of new practices.
During Mr. English's leadership school laws were revised, new legisla-
tion was enacted, financial support of education was assured, county
administration was improved, and supervision was provided for all
children in all counties.
The articulate, courageous, and dynamic leadership rendered by Mr.
Thomas D. Bailey from 1949 to the present time has expanded and
extended education for all people at all levels in the state. Among many
other improvements Mr. Bailey promoted the expansion of junior col-
leges, emphasized instruction in moral and spiritual values, and put
Florida in a position of leadership in the nation in providing instruction
on the fallacies and evils of communism. A rapidly improving economy,
a better balance between agriculture and industry, the rapid increase of
industry, and an increasing cosmopolitan population have contributed
to the improvement, expansion, and extension of all governmental
services, especially education which has enabled Negroes to make such
outstanding improvement in education and level of living.

With the perspective of thirty-five years of work and observation it
seems that the objectives set up in 1927-28 have been attained in varying
degrees. The first objective, "to induce school boards to adopt policies
for improvement of Negro schools" has apparently been attained in
full. School legislation, State Board regulations, State Department of
Education policies, and school surveys have helped county school boards
develop policies and practices that apply to all schools without regard to
level, location, or race. The second objective, "to encourage adequate
appropriations from public funds for the support of education for
Negroes" has been attained, if adequate is construed to mean impartial.
The third objective, "to enlist the active interest of superintendents in
providing adequate buildings and equipment for Negroes" has been
attained, if again, adequate is construed to mean impartial. Superintend-
ents have increasingly promoted such provisions since means of financing
such provisions have been made available by the legislature and the
free-holders within the counties. The fourth objective, "to promote

Southern Education Foundation

living salaries for Negro teachers" has been attained to the same degree
that living salaries are paid to white teachers. State funds for instruc-
tional salaries are disbursed on instructional units without any relation-
ship to race. County school officials budget funds for instructional
personnel on the basis of training and experience. The racial identity
of teachers is not considered in making salary schedules or determining
the salaries of white or Negro teachers. The fifth objective, "to improve
teaching in Negro schools" has been attained-to a measurable degree.
With full recognition of the great improvement that has been made it
seems that the need to make more improvement will always exist. It
may be said that this objective will have been attained more satisfactorily
when the achievement of Negro children on standard tests follows the
same level of distribution as the achievement of other children. The
sixth objective, "to encourage improvement of the living conditions and
habits of Negroes through the schools" has been attained to a degree
and I hope will continue to be in process of attainment indefinitely.
It is obvious that Negroes now enjoy better housing, better clothes, better
food, better health, better employment, better compensation, more pro-
tection, more consideration, more justice; and that they are more law-
abiding, more responsible, and perform better. No fixed standard or
"yard-stick" can be used to measure the attainment of this objective for
the reason that the level of living for all people in the state has risen
and continues to rise. Many people and agencies, voluntary and gov-
ernmental, beside schools have contributed to the attainment of this
objective. The seventh objective, "to cooperate with the State Board of
Control in the development of the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical
College and to work with the private Negro colleges in the extension
of educational opportunities for Negroes" has been attained to a large
degree. From 1927 until an educational leader was employed as ex-
ecutive secretary of the Board of Control, I worked with the administra-
tion of the A and M College to help improve every phase of the college.
The attainment of this objective is reflected in the accreditation of the
College by the State Department of Education and the Southern Associa-
tion of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In the meantime the College
was given university status by the legislature. No distinction was made
in my work between public and private colleges. The private colleges are

Occasional Paper

now four-year, degree-granting institutions serving thousands of high
school graduates, and are also providing in-service education for teachers
on the job. The approval of two of the three private colleges by the
State Department of Education and the Southern Association of Col-
leges and Secondary Schools reflects the degree of attainment of this
objective. Consultant service is still rendered when requested, but the
main responsibility for promoting and guiding improvement in the col-
leges has been assumed by the Director of Teacher Education since his
employment in the State Department of Education.
The preceding evaluation is limited to the recorded objectives stated
in 1927-28. Many unrecorded objectives have been set up and attained.
Instead of attempting to list them it would be sufficient to say that the
general attitude and practice now of white people towards Negroes and
particularly, white school officials toward Negro schools, teachers, and
children, is one of friendliness, concern, good will, cooperation, and
desire for them to receive justice. In my experience this trend has grown
stronger as people of both races attained more education.

For years it has been gratifying to observe the changed attitudes, ex-
pressions, appearance, behavior, and performance of teachers. A good
index to improvement in professional preparation is that for several
years one hundred per cent of the Negro teachers employed in Florida
have held certificates based on four years of college preparation. At
least twenty-five per cent of the teachers have certificates granted on the
attainment of the master's degree and a substantial number of teachers
are taking post-master's graduate work. They have changed from under-
paid, under-nourished, poorly housed, poorly dressed, sick, insecure, and
uncertain people to healthy, well-nourished, well-dressed, well-housed,
equally paid, optimistic, and self-confident people. The teachers no
longer wait to be called to a meeting by me. They exercise initiative and
voluntarily assume more leadership and more responsibility for planning
their work and improving their performance. Their self-respect, self-
confidence, self-assurance, and improved performance are reflected in
the increased and improved growth and development of the children
they teach.

Southern Education Foundation

Whereas formerly, differences did exist in the provision of educational
opportunity in facilities, compensation, term, personnel, and services
between urban and rural schools, secondary and elementary schools,
white and Negro schools, today the same provisions are made for all
schools regardless of location, level, or racial identity. The practice of
providing equal opportunity for all children without regard to any
condition, except ability to profit from use of the opportunity, is the
application of basic principles of religion, western civilization, and
American democracy. These principles underlie the laws passed by the
Legislature, State Board of Education regulations, State Department of
Education policies, and county school board policies and regulations for
providing education to all the children of all the people in the state.
The application of these principles in providing equal educational
opportunities for all people demands that all people use these oppor-
tunities in a responsible manner. Irresponsible customs and practices
must be replaced with competency in performance and responsibility in
behavior, morals, and citizenship. All people who enjoy the heritage of
rights, freedom, and opportunity, guaranteed by the nation and made
available by the State, must assume the obligations, duties, and responsi-
bilities that accompany these privileges. In order to be self-supporting,
self-directing, self-reliant citizens, all people must learn, prepare, and
perform effectively. All citizens must defend, strengthen, extend, and
perpetuate our heritage. It is for these purposes that Florida provides
equal educational opportunity for all the children of all the people
in the State.


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