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Title: Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987. Interview C-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Herring, William Dallas, interviewee
Interview conducted by Jenkins, Jay
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
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Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 172 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Languages used in the text: English
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2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
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Title of recording: Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987. Interview C-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0035)
Author: Jay Jenkins
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987. Interview C-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series C. Notable North Carolinians. Southern Oral History Program Collection (C-0035)
Author: William Dallas Herring
Description: 257 Mb
Description: 62 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 16, 1987, by Jay Jenkins; recorded in Rose Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Patricia Watkins.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series C. Notable North Carolinians, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with William Dallas Herring, May 16, 1987.
Interview C-0035. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Herring, William Dallas, interviewee

Interview Participants

    JAY JENKINS, interviewer


Page 1
This is Jay Jenkins with the second interview with Dallas Herring for the Oral History Program. It is being conducted in his home in Rose Hill on May 16, 1987.
Dallas, there was an interesting story in the newspaper this morning, the News and Observer, about a Carnegie funded effort to establish a national certification program for teachers. It is billed as an effort to have uniform standards and give them recognition and get higher pay and so forth and so on. I know that you participated in a somewhat similar effort a number of years ago, and I wish you would just talk about those two things.
Well, it is interesting. Jim Hunt is to head this board for the national certification of teachers. When I was in the hospital for a cancer operation in March a year ago, he was kind enough to call me. Bill Friday did and several others, and I was very much appreciative of it. Well, Jim told me what he was doing. He had just returned from a meeting of this group that is mentioned in the paper today, and he was all excited about it. He felt that it would lead to improved standards for the profession of education. This is, of course, an area in which I had experience for many years, and I was interested in what he had to say. I told him that it brought back memories to me. I served on the Board of Trustees of the old National Citizens Council for the Public Schools—or for Better Schools, I believe we called it—which was founded by Dr.

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James B. Conant, president emeritus of Harvard University. The Carnegie Corporation provided the majority of the funding for that group. When I joined them, Roy Larson, the president of Time, Inc., was chairman of the group, and they were making an effort to enter the hinterlands. I was chosen from North Carolina—I think largely because Guy Philips gave him my name—and Hodding Carter, not the one we've got now but his dad, and this other newspaper man from Little Rock…
Harry Ashmore?
No, it wasn't Harry. It was the owner, the publisher, of the Little Rock paper. What was his name?
No, I've got his name in my head somewhere. I'll have to go back to it. But there were very few of us from the South. We would meet frequently in New York. I remember I think I told you last time about the meeting in San Francisco in May of 1954. Larson had asked me to sit next to him at breakfast there in the Fairmont Hotel. That was completely out of my element. I had no business being there [laughter] —Beardsley Rummel, the father of the withholding tax idea; Harry Sherman, the president of the Book of the Month Club; and John Hersey, a lovely person, with a very beautiful kind of a personality, deeply humane, author of The Wall and other books. Walter Lippman had spoken to us the evening before. I used to read Walter Lippman as though it were the Bible when I was at Davidson. I read the Charlotte Observer everyday. He was a very profound journalist and philosopher, and I cherish the memory of meeting him and hearing him.

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At any rate, on that memorable day, May 17, 1954, somebody walked in with a San Francisco Examiner, I guess it was, with a big headline announcing the Supreme Court's decision in the segregation cases. Mr. Larson turned to me and said, "What is the South going to do about this?" [laughter] I said, "Well, I can't speak for the South, I don't know what the South is going to do about it. But I think North Carolina will do the responsible thing, and it will take some time." I said, "What is the North going to do about it. What's New York going to do about it?" He didn't seem to realize that they needed to do anything about it, and I think they haven't gotten the message yet. That's one of the big puzzles to me. Why, in trying to destroy a double standard and succeeding so well with it in the South, they have not pursued the idea to south Boston. [Phone ringing]
Sorry for the interruption. I digressed to tell you that little incident, and I think I had mentioned it before, but it was a means of giving you a background of my interest in what Jim Hunt is doing. We had a very vibrant group of people. The staff were young and energetic and optimistic, and our desire was, after World War II, to awaken interest all over America in the public schools—how tragically the need had been neglected. We carefully avoided telling the people what to do about it. The philosophy was to get them to form democratic groups, lay and professional, to inquire into the status of education, and then to determine what the needs were, and thirdly, to see what could be done to get the kinds of schools we agreed we needed.

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It was phenonemally successful. We had some thirty-eight thousand people involved in citizens' committees all over the country. They urged me to get Governor Hodges to appoint a state citizens' committee in North Carolina, which he did. Holt McPherson, editor of the High Point Enterprise, was chairman, and Raymond Stone became the executive secretary. Marvin Yount, the retired superintendent from Alamance, was the first one. We organized citizens' committees in every county of the state as a result of that effort. We followed the philosophy—which was highly acceptable to us, of course—of what kind of schools do we have; what kind do we need; how do we get the kind of schools we agree we need? That's when I first met you. Pete McKnight1 sent you to see me, and we made that trip to Connecticut, later on. I was invited up to Charlotte by Hal Tribble to tell the story of what we were doing in Duplin—and by Dr. Garringer and Mr. Wilson, the county superintendent.
At the apex of that experience, Ben Fine, who as I recall was writing for the New York Times, and Jim Cass, who was on the staff (he later became the education editor for The Saturday Review of Literature)… Gloria Dapper was his associate. The names begin to slip away, but these two I remember especially. They were pushing me to make a statement regarding the desegregation of the schools. I said, "You make one about New York, and I'll make one about North Carolina when the time comes." They wouldn't do it. I said, "When I retire and look down here, we did the job, and they didn't." Ben Fine was among

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those, if I recall correctly—I'm not absolutely certain that he was in agreement with Carnegie, maybe he was not… Walter Heller, by the way, the economist, was in this crowd and spoke to us several times.2
Carnegie forced a showdown. "The time has come for you people to tell America what kind of schools they need. The time has come for you to confront Congress with the idea that this has to be done." So we had a crisis, and Conant was not in favor of our doing that. We were just a group of self-appointed citizens—some of them were distinguished people in the group, as I pointed out. But this is not the Royal Academy of Science of the French Republic, that dictates things. This is an American citizens' committee, and we just advise. There were many people there from all over the country who did not believe that we needed a centrally controlled public school system.
Was that what Carnegie had in mind?
Carnegie wanted to do it, and do it now, and do it the simple way which was a totalitarian way. We told him to go to hell and wouldn't do it. They withdrew the money, and the organization collapsed because nobody could afford to pay his way to San Francisco [laughter] plus New York many times. They gave the money to the Saturday Review of Literature and hired part of the staff—Jim Cass and Gloria Dapper especially I remember—and they published a monthly education issue. Norman Cousins, I think, was general editor. He was so overwhelmed with the idea

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that we faced inevitable nuclear disaster that it stopped being the magazine that William Lyon Phelps and Amy Loveman and those people published for many years. It was so dear to so many of us as a place for gentle and genteel review of whatever literature's worth reviewing.
Did Carnegie underwrite that in the Saturday Review with the idea of promoting their view?
They were doing it. They did do it. I finally quit taking the magazine because it was no longer the magazine I wanted. The last thing we need, in my humble opinion, is a very provincial, reactionary old gentleman in Duplin County…3
I disagree with your description, Dallas. [laughter]
[laughter] I don't need my colleague from New England or New York to tell me what quality consists of. I could go into a great dialogue about the quality of the writing of history because it has been dominated by Harvard and Yale, with a very provincial view of the American Revolution, for example. They think we didn't do anything down here about it. Ten years before the Declaration of Independence, the first armed resistance to British tyranny occured at Brunswick on the Cape Fear River below here. The first state in America to call for independence from Great Britain was North Carolina in the Halifax Resolves. It was before the Declaration of Independence. They pooh-pooh the idea of the Mecklenburg Declaration. I don't know whether that occurred or not, but Halifax certainly is well documented.

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New England has distorted the picture of its folk heroes, Paul Revere for example. The Britannica says there is no evidence he ever made the celebrated ride that Longfellow wrote about. I know that Cornelius Harnett made a ride, several of them, and it's well documented but not celebrated. So I am not for any New England prejudice about what constitutes excellence in education. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy and like to believe everything that Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Longfellow and all of these people wrote—James Fenimore Cooper about New York. I read them in my grandfather's library when I was a child, and I dearly love the stories. And I have a passle of first cousins living in Connecticut that I grew up with, and I am not prejudiced against them.
What I insist on is that Thomas Jefferson and others of his ilk found the answer to excellence in education and excellence in government, and it is pure democracy. We cannot tolerate totalitarianism in education anymore than we can in politics. The only place that we can tolerate it at all is in the military, and that has to be under civilian control. You see how it has gotten out of hand here under Reagan and Mr. North, Colonel North, or whatever he is, Admiral North. He decided that he had the know-how to solve all of our international problems, misguided young fellow. No doubt he had the best intentions in the world, and he had the shortcut answers. The Carnegie Corporation is in the control of people of ilk mind. So, I would say without any apology whatsoever, it's the wrong idea. The genius of American education is that it is a grass roots

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operation. It has been from the beginning. It started in the churches, and it finally became a public duty by the community first—neighbors getting together and creating the American public school system with their own local effort. North Carolina again was the first state in the nation to recognize and establish a statewide school system in 1931 and '33 during the Depression. We established one of the few systems that is statewide. But we jealously guard the right of the local people to determine policy in education. If you don't believe that, I know it from first hand experience. We established the community college system at the state level, and realizing our history in that respect that there had to be a grass roots effort or it would… [Interruption]
I don't know whether I'm telling what you need to know or not.
Exactly right, the way it is.
Do you think this latest Carnegie effort that Hunt is serving as chairman for is a reincarnation of that earlier idea?
Well, I thought about it when Jim called me a little over a year ago in the hospital, and I didn't tell him. So he was kind enough to call me again, and he was enthusiastic about it. He felt that it was an opportunity to bring some quality into the picture, and it may be. I don't have any doubt but that a benevolent monarch can solve a lot of problems. King David and King Soloman worked wonders with the Jewish people, and nobody has been able to manage them since then. But those two

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did, and all the other kings were more or less failures. I used to know them all by heart. I had to study them at Davidson. But it's the wrong way to run a country.
I noticed that in the story this morning in the paper that the president of the School Boards Association or something said this is an effort to turn it over to the teachers' union.
Well, there is some possibility of that. I think Albert Sanker, who writes for the New York Times a good bit, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, is an exponent of quality in education. It's the old trade union idea. There's a lot going for it, that the master craftsman is better than the journeyman, and the journeyman is better than the apprentice, and they are all better than the rest of us. You can't get to lay brick under that system until you have served your apprenticeship and your journeyman experience, and finally, reluctantly, when you're an old man, you can get to be a master craftsman, and your wages are established that way. That philosophy has been characteristic of AFT, and especially of Sanker as I read it, and I don't know any more than anybody else who reads about him. I think Sanker sees that the only way to get an elite corps of teachers with high salaries, sixty and seventy thousand dollars a year, at present scales, in the public school system, would be to create this master craftsmen. So it's not at all at variance for the trade unionists to agree with Carnegie that this short-cut to excellence is a desirable thing. But it leaves out the masses of teachers, and it totally negates the idea of democracy in American education.

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Do you think anything like this can succeed without grass roots participation?
Well, you know, you can appoint the committees and create commissions and get endowments, and the people are free to ignore them. They do as they damn please which is what they should do. I am afraid somebody will say, "Well, you're just mad with Jim Hunt because he didn't reappoint you." The truth is Jim Hunt did me a tremendous favor, and I told him so. I am not angry with him about it. I think he made a mistake in not reappointing me, but I'm not angry with him. [laughter]
Well, you've been talking about the Carnegie approach anyway. It hasn't been a personality thing.
I'm not sore with Jim, and I wish him well. It would be nice if they could succeed. I would like to see some change in it before I die, but I don't think I will, and I don't think he's going to succeed. They'll beat their brains out for the next five years establishing standards, and here and there across the country they will introduce the master Carnegie teachers and induce the legislatures to pay them more. But it's undemocratic, and the democratic majority will not have a part of it. They'll push him out the back door.
What a sad thing. They are trying to do the right thing in the wrong way. That was the trouble with Hunt's administration anyway. I say this with the greatest detachment from the personality. I told Jim personally—he served with us on the Board of Education for his term as Lieutenant Governor, and I got to know him very well… During the controversy with Craig—

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Craig wanted to be this kind of a dictator. He was this kind. He still is. He talks a lot about involvement with the people out in… You can hand-pick the people who can applaud and agree with him about something. He totally destroyed the citizens' committee idea.
Let me give you a little experience here in Duplin County. We had some vocal critics of the public schools. We had the citizens' committee going, with harmony, very frank open discussions, black and white, before the Supreme Court ruling. Somebody said, "Well, you've just hand-picked your crowd, and you haven't got the critics on there. We made an effort to find our critics, and we got them involved, and they had an impact on what we were talking about and deciding. They influenced the judgments, and we came up with a better answer because we allowed the democratic process to function.
Louis Outlaw, an old bachelor, member of the general assembly, a Universalist—and they don't ever agree with anybody, not even God—and nothing suited him. Being an old bachelor myself, I can appreciate how he felt. We got him involved in that business and allowed him to get up, encouraged him to get up, and tell us where we were wrong, and to consider what he had to say. You cannot defeat the democratic procedure if you give it a chance, is what I'm saying. Carnegie is impatient of that. Jim is ignorant of it, and they are not going to succeed in the long run. They may have some initial success. What a tragedy because they are trying to do the right thing in the wrong way.

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So your idea is that they should finance these things on a state by state basis, and let it come up from the bottom.
I'm saying they should reactivate the citizens' committees. They should go back to Triangle and Cherokee County and Coinjock in Currituck, and say, "What do you think we need to do about our schools." Walter Lippman made this point. He said every man is a philosopher. This man Adler, this brilliant scholar we have today, Mortimer Adler, makes the same point.
It's nothing more than Jeffersonian democracy. The amazing thing is that the American experiment has worked because we trusted the people, in large numbers, to make the right decisions, and you created a situation in which they could speak to the issues.
I went out politicking for one of the candidates for governor one time in north Duplin. We came to a crossroads filling station-country store, and the boys had been out setting out tobacco, and they were dirty and barefooted, sprawled on the floor, glad to get a moment to relax. I was with Hubert Philips, a lawyer over here in Kenansville, and we were plugging the virtues of our candidate. We were not making much headway, but Hubert spoke to one fellow sitting on the floor with his back against the wall and his boots spread ajar, his overalls rolled up half way his shank bone and his feet just as dirty as could be. He got to talking to him about tobacco and got his interest. He said, "How about voting for our man." He said, "Well, it don't matter how I'm going to vote anyway. It's them people up there in Baltimore that's the ones that elect the governor of North Carolina." [laughter] He didn't know his geography, but he

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made this point—they don't give a damn about us. We don't have a chance. I said, "Well, if you didn't have a chance, I wouldn't be here." That's what we're over here for, to hear from you. It has worked, Jay, all the way through my career. When we got in trouble, is when we drifted away from the grass roots.
Walter Hines Page makes this point over and over and over again, and I could cite you chapter and verse where it is that kind of philosophy that helps build America. We can drift into the idea of totalitarianism too easily, because it's simple. It's efficient. It's cost-effective. It brings the judgment now. But it has taken two hundred or more years to build what we've got, and we're not through with it yet. [Interruption]
Dallas, as you know, there's a movement afoot to submit a constitutional ammendment that would make the state superintendent of public instruction appointive instead of elective. How do you view that issue?
Well, I have many feelings about it and considerable experience with the whole idea. First, let me say this. We are laboring under the fiction that we have a democratic procedure for choosing a superintendent, which is not true. The long ballot is not real democracy. It's a way for an elite to decide who will be in these positions. I don't feel that my dear old friend Jim Graham4 is a typical North Carolinian, but I didn't choose Jim for that job. Did you? Maybe he's doing the best that anybody can do, and I should think he's doing very well.

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But we are laboring under the fiction that the people choose these council of state members. The people have no real opportunity to decide. It's just a name on a ballot, and there are too many of them. There's coming a time though—a procedure that neglects—I'm at a loss to explain exactly what I mean by that. We are going to elect a superior court judge for western North Carolina. We don't know him. We don't know anything about him. All we see is his name. That's not democracy. It is an abuse of democracy. It is a use of democracy to maintain the status quo, meaning to keep the power where the power is. A Republican hasn't got a Chinaman's chance there, and everybody knows it. That's one of the reasons for having it.
Point number one, the system we have is not, really, de facto democratic though it probably could be argued to the jury that it is. What's more democratic than having a statewide election? But the system is not producing a democratic choice. People intend to keep the incumbents in, and that's the reason for having that system. If you will look at the superintendents that have been chosen since J.Y. Joyner, most of them have been appointed by governors. The most disastrous choice we've had was not appointed by a governor, but won when it was thrown open to a free election by Charlie Carroll's announcement that he would not run again.
You're speaking of the incumbent?
Yes. [laughter] He's not a Democrat. He's a dictator. I'm not angry with him. I'm telling you the historic truth about him.

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Okay, point number one, we do not have a democratic system. How do we get a better system? You see, I follow my own advice. What kind of a system do we have? What kind do we need, and how do we get the kind we agree we need? All right, the system we have stinks. What kind do we need? I would say we need one that provides the democratic safeguards, that provides the people an opportunity to make a wise choice. That's complex. What are you going to do, have a precinct meeting and discuss the issues in over twenty-two hundred precincts? We believe, after all, in representative government. There's nothing undemocratic about the idea of representative government. As a Presbyterian elder I have stood on that ground for many years and so has the federal constitution and the state constitution.
We have tried to create the fiction in North Carolina, and the Council of State members from Thad Eure on down have tried to create the fiction, that representative government is most democratic—in insisting that the public elect all these professional heads of departments. That's like saying we can't choose the President of the United States to appoint the Secretary of State. The system seems to work very well there. If he doesn't do the job, he gets booted out in a hurry, and most of them have turned out as failures, severely criticized. It takes years for their reputation to take shape again. Dean Rusk is only now becoming somewhat acceptable to the majority of people. Just as Truman went out of office with a lot of enemies— he is now one of our elder statesmen, even though he was one of the critics of Martin Luther King. Called him a "rabble-rouser"

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[laughter] , but we now accept Truman. My point is, in trying to answer the question what kind of a superintendent do we need, we need one who is representative of the people.
We just talked about Jim Hunt's innocent, and the Carnegie Corporation's not so innocent, desire to establish a hierarchy that will determine for all of us Catholics what kind of a religion we're going to have, in education. I don't want us to make that mistake in North Carolina. The trouble is, in practice, we have always made that mistake. We've had some great superintendents; we've had some mediocre ones; and we've had one disaster at least. I can document that, but I won't go into that now. So we need a different system. We need one where democracy can come to play, and my point is that representative government is democratic.
All right, having established the philosophical basis, let me give you my solution. In my last visit to the School of Dentistry to get this prothesis ground down and added to in places, I got the young fellow who was driving me to go by the Kenan Building. I didn't have any idea where it was but we found it. I went in to see Bill Friday since … I didn't like the way he was shoved out any more than I liked the way I was shoved out. I wanted to go by and shake his hand. He's a great person. He and I came into office about the same time and worked very closely together over those years, and I am deeply grateful to him for his friendship.
Going into the building, I saw someone across the parking lot going towards the door a little ahead of me, and I knew I

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knew who he was, but I couldn't see him well enough to be sure. We went on up to the penthouse in this magnificient new modern structure, and Bill's secretary recognized me and said he was out to lunch. I didn't have an appointment. She said, "Bill Snider is in here. Come on, both of you, and sit in Bill's office and talk until he comes back." So we did. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Bill.
You know, Bill served on the commission to rewrite the constitutional ammendments. It must have been in the early seventies. I've forgotten the year. He had charge of a subcommittee recommending changes in the governance of education. The result was that he took the state superintendent off the Board of Education. I talked with him about it at the time, but I didn't realize he was going to do that. He had the idea that the professional head should not be a voting member of the board. Craig didn't realize it until it was all fixed and voted on. [laughter] It was before we had an open split.
Bill said, "I've just been to a meeting of the commission to recommend changes in the way the state superintendent is chosen." It was a legislative committee, I think, that appointed him. He wanted to know my view of it. I said, "I'm on record favoring what we have and favoring the change, I can teach that the world is flat or it is round." [Laughter] But here's what I sincerely think is a solution to it if you believe in representative government. The people who have to work with the superintendent should initiate the choice, that is, the board of education. They are the ones who do it locally. Take the county

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board of education in Raleigh, for example, for Wake County. They choose the superintendent. Realizing that this is a statewide responsibility and the people who choose are not elected state wide—they are appointed by the governor and confirmed by both houses of the general assembly—let them initiate the choice. They make their nomination to the governor, and if the governor agrees, he passes it on to the general assembly for confirmation. If he doesn't agree, he tells the board of education to come up with somebody else that the two can agree upon, the board and the governor. If they finally reach an agreement, and it goes to the general assembly, the general assembly has the option to approve or disapprove. If they don't approve of it, you go through the process until you get all three groups in agreement. Then and then only is the appointment made, and it is made for a term, not for life. When the term is out, we go through the same process. That is exactly the way we choose the controller. The governor doesn't appoint the controller. He appoints him on nomination of the board. It stops there and doesn't go on to the general assembly, but it should, I think. He handles the most money of any departmental fiscal officer in state affairs. There's no reason in the world why the general assembly, being the ultimate authority, should not have the right to approve the person who's going to handle all that money. They are elected by the grass roots. The governor is elected by the grass roots. They approve the members of the Board of Education, and the governor appoints them. What better system could you possibly find to bring about harmony and

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responsible leadership in the structure of education? You don't produce these prima donas who think the board should be their rubber stamp and rooting section and not have any independent thoughts.
Let me tell you this, if it had not been for the lay members of the State Board of Education, we would not have a community college system in North Carolina today. We would not have had the curriculum study that you and Pete McKnight and I were concerned with when we went to New York and Connecticut. We would not have had the citizens' committee movement. All these things came about at the insistence of local non-professional citizens taking part in policy making in education. The tendency of the elected professional is to secure his political position. If he's an activist, as Craig is, very shallow in his intellect, he follows every nuance that comes along. He reads a new book on career education, and we have a go with that. He gets everybody excited and nothing really happens except turmoil. He overemphasizes one segment of education to the detriment of the rest of them. Craig has a genuine and commendable interest in early childhood education. He has done much to get the kindergartens going and has improved the primary grade program. I cannot in all truth say that he has done anything in the important areas of high school English programs. Foreign languages programs are being deemphasized. History was cutout of the curriculum—the history of North Carolina. American history was watered down, depleted, as were the social studies programs. The qualitative standards were obliterated. The state

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was watered down, depleted, as were the social studies programs. The qualitative standards were obliterated. The state accreditation means nothing now except the American Management Association's idea and its system of management by objectives—a bunch of gobbledy-gook which means simply that you decide for yourself what kind of standard you want to acheive and then you measure your advancement toward that standard. What a far cry from the idea that there would be a concensus established by professional leaders throughout the state in a statewide, cooperative effort, local and state, to say what the ideal school should have and then measure the progress of the particular school towards the achievement of the ideal. No such thing as that anymore. The Southern Association is the only thing that we have, and it has its similar problems. So my answer is, we need a superintendent who can lead the people and perform his professional task and be assured of the backing of those who constitutionally establish policy and provide leadership in state government—meaning the governor, the board, and the legislature. That's the procedure to get there. If he doesn't perform, then the same procedure can turn him out of office and get somebody else. I told Bill Snider that I personally would support the idea that if a board becomes irresponsible and does not do its duty—you get a bunch of people there who are obviously misfits and not able to do it, not willing to do it, don't want to do it, don't know how to do it—there ought to be a way to remove them. The general assembly, on nomination of the governor or with the concurrence of the governor and the general assembly, could

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remove such people from office and appoint somebody in their place. I would have been a lot safer myself. I had the experience there with one or two appointments—such obvious misfits, who caused a lot of trouble, and had no desire to make a contribution, simply the desire to take sides and put up a fuss.



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Dallas, there has been a suggestion, I believe it was by the State School Board Association, that all local supplements be ended. That is, that the counties that can afford to do it and are willing to do it, should not be allowed to supplement the pay of teachers and so forth. What are your views on that kind of an issue?
I will have to ask the question: is it democratic to do that? Let's examine it and see if it is. What is the idea for doing that? Should we have a policy that, since I can't afford a Cadillac, nobody else should be permitted to have one? We're talking about individual and local initiative now. If I remember correctly, I was a student in high school in 1931 and 1933. So I am speaking from hindsight, and what I've learned, not from reading the history of it, but from serving with people who lived through that year. Old man Pritchett, for example, who was a member of our board for many years, was in the legislature when that legislation was enacted, and I've heard him speak about it many times.
If I recall correctly—it can easily be checked—it was in '31 or '33 that they outlawed any local initiative or local tax to supplement the salaries of teachers when the state took over the payment of the salaries. I think I've heard Epps Reedy, who was superintendent of the Roanoke Rapids schools, say a number of times, in effect, that they were one of the leading school units in opposing the elimination of city units and the right of the city unit to tax itself to supplement the salaries of teachers

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and to add to the budget of the local school effort. Considering it from a philosophical point of view, I would have to say it is not democratic for us to say that once we establish the lowest common demoninator, below which no county may drop, the state will provide the funds to see that you have at least this minimun standard of excellence, potentially in every precinct of the state. It is not democratic to say nobody can go beyond that with his own effort. That's a denial of humanity. I don't know why Jean Cosby, who is Craig's protege and in the Guy Phillips' organization of the school board association, would say you can't have any differentiation. It's not democratic regardless of who's idea it is. It strikes me that it is just as wrong as the aristocratic viewpoint. I have told you that I thought it was wrong to establish a school for the gifted to take the cream of the crop to Durham in residential study and spend four or five times as much for those students as we do on the average across the state. In this case it isn't the state diffentiating in spending more per student in one place than it does in another, it is the freedom of the local unit to do that. I will have to maintain that Roanoke Rapids or Charlotte or any other place that has the wherewithal to do it and wants to do it, should be commended in doing that.
Having said that, I have another thought I think I need to get in there. You take the case of Ocracoke, which does not have enough children, even with the basic program, to have the versatility in its curriculum that it needs. The only way to get it is to hire extra teachers to provide it for the limited number

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of students.5 If what we really want is not monetary equality, arithmetic, we call it, but qualitative equality as far as state programs are concerned, the state can do it much cheaper in Raleigh for the Wake County schools where there are thousands of students to deal with, than they can do it in Ocracoke where there's but a handful. So I would argue for monetary inequality in that sense to acheive qualitative equality in a minimum program for the state. Which is to say, obviously, that we would not spend as much per child necessarily in Mecklenburg as we would in Pender County, for example. But we can establish qualitative measures that can be acheived more or less efficiently in places, and far less efficiently in the isolated areas where it won't take a lot of money to bring them up to standards.
I am not making that very clear, but the thought is very clear to me. If what you are looking for is bona fide qualitative equality of opportunity, to live up to Aycock's idea, to every child there should be reserved "the right to have the opportunity to burgeon out all that there is within him." You can't do that if the school doesn't teach Latin, and he needs to know Latin and wants to know Latin, and there is no Latin teacher simply because the money that the state provides will not afford employment of that teacher. There are dozens of them is Charlotte, say, and dollar for dollar distribution will not get that kind of equality. Then the state needs to take an extra

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step for those communities that are so sparsely settled that they can't do it.
I met with Terry Sanford one time up on Wolf Mountain where a group of us spent the weekend up there at Jamie Clark's invitation. Hyden Ramsey was there and several others. We spent the night in that old cabin, and the next day we went down that road, the Tuckasegee or something like that—downhill and I was holding on so tight I couldn't see the scenery [laughter] —to a little school called the Canada school, of all things, nestled back there in some of the highest mountains I've ever seen. It was a Saturday. The chairman of the school committee was dressed up and looked like an Amish patriarch with his little boy who had on black knee britches, like something out of another century, but very charming. We went in to see the school. There was nobody there but the committee. It looked like all schools the state had built. Had desks, blackboard. Sanford turned to me, and I said, "Write somthing on the blackboard." He said, "What should I write?" I said, "Write these words: study hard, study hard." So he did, and that was the end of that day. The kids came in Monday and saw it. He didn't sign it but the committee chairman told them all who did it. That's the key to it.
A child goes back up into a mountain cove like that with all the beauty of nature that surrounds him, but the basic idea that Aycock had was that that child have an equal opportunity to burgeon out whatever talents he had, academic, classical, artistic, vocational, whatever it was. He didn't really name over them, but to have that kind of opportunity. Charlotte and

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Winston-Salem, that jewel of the Piedmont with all of its greatness [laughter] , its nobility, and its patriotic philanthropy, provides for its own very well. But it didn't get back into the Canada school unless the state did it, and I'm saying to you that that child ought to have the opportunity to know about the great Greek and Roman civilizations and be conversant in those languages if you're going to teach it anywhere, with state money. At the same time I would say, if Winston-Salem wants to build its own school of the arts on top of that, more power to them. Is that inconsistent?
No. What you mentioned earlier, and what I would characterize as a watering down of the curriculum in terms of American history and so forth and so on—it seems to me we have a lot of fads these days, and the basics seem to be overlooked. I remember a professor in Chapel Hill, who was a visiting professor over there, and he was teaching juniors, and he said he assigned a three hundred word theme to some university juniors, and this great sigh went up. He said, "How many of you up to this point have had to write a theme?" He said about a tenth of the hands in the room went up. Of course, I went to school a long time ago, but I find that a little hard to comprehend.
I have a solution to that. If I were the commissar of education, the first thing I would do would be to overhaul the English curriculum in the public schools. I would double the number of people teaching English. I would give them assistants in grading the papers and counseling students in how to express themselves. Listen to a conversation of these beautiful young

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athletes who have so much talent, and they cannot express themselves. Every other word is "you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know." Crying out to me as listener, "help me to say what is in my mind." The damn trouble is he hasn't got anything in his mind. He hasn't got a mind to develop. All he has developed is his physical skills. Would you agree to that?
Yes, of course.
It is the sin, not of that student, but of those who make school policy that allows that to happen in higher education or public education at any level, whatever level. So we do something about it. Communication, the ability to understand the language and to use it with facility, is the most basic thing that you've got in education unless arithmetic may be considered more basic. One is the language of mathematical ideas, quantitative ideas, and the other is the language of philosophy, history, the humanities, the way we communicate. These are the most basic things and are sadly neglected throughout schools. We waste a lot of time talking about the difficulties of teaching children to read. There isn't anything difficult about it. It's simple. You cannot learn it without committing some of it to memory, and if you are going to approach it with the idea that memorization is anathema to education, then you cannot teach them to read.
I went into a school in Gaston county at the invitation of the people. It was a private school that had been pushed, shoved, out the back door of the public schools with a group of

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students they call dyslexic, a made-up word to apologize to themselves for their failure in the public schools in my opinion. I walked down the hall, and I heard students saying, c-a-t, cat. The whole crowd was shouting it out and spelling over simple words in unison at the top of their voices. I had forgotten that in the first and second and third grades in the nineteen twenties we did the same thing, way back there. In another class they were doing the parts of speech. A verb is a word that asserts action, being, or the state of being. They said it all in unison, and then they stopped suddenly just like an orchestra that is perfectly trained to stop suddenly. And one solo points to Tom, Dick, or Harry to give an example of a verb that asserts action, one that asserts being, one that asserts state of being. They did this together over and over and over again. They did it in the multiplication tables. In another class they were reciting facts of history that they wanted to burn into their memories. Now the education profession disdains that kind of thing.
How do we correct it?
Do you mean how do we change to that or go away from it?
How do we get back to some basics?
We put a board of education in authority to choose a superintendent who will support its philosophy. Then if you don't like the philosophy, you turn them out by legislative and gubernatorial action. That's the way you do that. What we do is elect a benevolent monarch, and he tells us that he is doing

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great things, and you just go away and shudder and forget about it, and get absorbed in genealogy or something else.
Let me ask you about another subject, merit pay. They have some programs in the Wake County schools that I'm familiar with, and it's caused a lot of dissention. The teachers take issue with the way they evaluate the teachers for the bonuses. They say they grade them too much on the mechanical end of it, and so forth and so on. Talk about that in theory and in practice.
Well, when I went into the state government, there was a commission, around the Hodges administration, and Arthur Kirkman from High Point was in charge of a commission to establish a merit pay system. Watts Hill, Jr. served on it, and Watts got all excited about it. "Shorty" Spruill was the executive director of it. I told Watts that it would never amount to a row of beans and he was wasting his time that it would never be adopted. I said I'm not going to oppose it, but you're not going to get anywhere with it. Differentiated pay in a system with fifty thousand employees has to be based on the subjective judgment of somebody. I don't see how it can be done unless you can remove that subjective judgment from the immediate scene. Now that's the genius of the idea that Jim Hunt and the Carnegie people are dealing with—differentiated pay based on an objective sliding scale, far removed from the people that are involved. So that we can say, well, if she's a Carnegie teacher, therefore she's entitled. You have the right to become a Carnegie teacher if you do these things. You remove the personal

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conflict, the enmity. I don't think you can remove it, but you diminish it.
I've already pointed out the defect in the Carnegie proposal. It's not democratic in the way it's achieved. That is not to say that we could not have a national effort to achieve the same thing in a democratic way, not just for the teachers to establish who's competent, but the lay public. We make the analogy with the medical profession and say that doctors are the best judges of what it takes to be a good doctor. I quite agree with that. I don't know what it takes to be a good doctor. I can measure the number of patients that he loses maybe and decide that, but education is something else. We're all involved in that. It is a mistake, I think, to say that it is like a science or an art that is isolated and only the people involved can decide. I know who my best teachers were. I had a lot of them. The one that was the best teacher, and I would choose from all my experience, the one I detested the most, he was a professor of Greek. He scared the living daylights out of me. He motivated me to learn that language, and I didn't really have the great ambition that I thought I had to master the civilization of the Greeks and Romans [laughter] if it took learning all that detail. I just made a start, and I didn't get very far, but I had two years of Greek. That man made me learn it. He knew it in the first place. He knew it, not how to impart it, but how to elicit an understanding of it from me. It was the strength of his personality more than anything he ever learned in a book that caused him to be an effective teacher in my situation. Well,

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that's the key to it in my idea. I doubt that we can remake all the public school teachers in the image of John Crooks Bailey as a Greek professor.
So I would say, what is it that made Socrates, recognized today all these centuries afterwards, a great teacher? Nobody argues that he was a poor teacher. It's sort of like the idea of pornography. Everybody knows when a thing is pornographic. It is only the lawyers and the judges who can't decide. [laughter] They are the experts, and they don't know. They have not been able to come up with a workable definition of pornography. But you know, don't you, when something's pornographic?
[laughter] To me, yes.
Well, even to a majority of people. So I don't know the answer to that, except this—I must have strayed from your question—I think there is a kernel of truth in the Carnegie idea that we could establish and have accepted by the profession and the public, a superior class of teachers to whom we are willing to pay more money and grant higher status. My only point about that is that there should be a standard, and these people should be arrived at through democratic rather than totalitarian procedures. The advantage is that it is removed from the pressures of the community where political influence can be very decisive.
Let me give you another case in point. We established a community college in Martin County, Williamston. I always had a high opinion of that county. I still do. There are some very fine people there. But I'll be damned if it isn't run by a

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handful of politicians, cliques at war with each other. They live this warfare all the time. No president that goes there, no matter how good he is, can survive very long. He's got to hire this faction's relatives or he won't last, and if he does, the other crowd is going to run him out. I don't know whether they'll ever outgrow that or not. It's an anomoly that we see in various parts of the state more than we do in others. You can't keep a superintendent in Brunswick County over two or three years. They'll run him out if the other crowd gets control. Carteret County is the same way. They haven't been too successful in keeping one in Wake County in the last few years either. There is a certain stress, especially in stressful times, that can bring itself to bear on the personalities in the local situation. So the value of a national board, objectively stating what these standards should be and admitting by objective tests people to this class, has value. My point about it is, who sets those standards? It should be done by consensus nationwide, and not by a handful of self-appointed experts. I don't know whether I've confused the issue or elucidated it.
The thing that bothers me about the evaluation of teachers and so forth is you can find somebody who's a master of the subject but can't convey it or inspire any enthusiasm. I suppose that's an immeasurable ability.
It is. It's like judging Picasso and Rembrandt and Michelangelo. What do you think Rembrandt would say about Picasso if he could see him today? Who is to decide who is good, and who is better, and who is best in this? I have my ideas, but

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look at the modern day whim for Picasso, and I would say right off the bat that I'm not in the majority in that evaluation.
I guess some problems are just not soluble.
Look at it this way. We haven't found the solution yet. A generation ago, when you and I were kids, nobody ever thought that we would ever walk on the moon, and it's being done.
What about the national teacher examination? That always comes in for periodic…
I had a part in that. I suppose you're familiar with the role I played there.
I wish you would talk about it.
Do you remember Grace Rodenbeau?
Stokes County.
You see, we have an advantage in long memory. Ed Wilson, Addison Hewlett, Hugh Johnson, Grace Rodenbeau, the sage of Stoneville, what was his name, Clarence Stone, people in that group—when the third house met in the Sir Walter, they cornered me there one day on the balcony. They were talking much as we have talked today about many things in education. It was not a reaction to desegregation. It was not what they were thinking about. They were about to put in a bill to establish a national teachers' examination, the score, as a condition to certification. I had some charts showing the discrepancies in the institutions. There were vast differences between St. Augustine's and Duke University's performance.
On teacher examinations?

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Yes. And there were differences in the race also on the average. It was overlapping but the majority showed a difference. It astonished me and alarmed me, and I asked them if they would withhold that action and not mandate the cutoff score until we could have some experience with it. I said you don't know where the cutoff score, the minimum score, should be. I said it occurs to me that it ought not to be below this point where at least twenty-five percent of the teachers would be black because they were twenty-five percent of the population. To be fair to them we ought not have a score so high that we could not get twenty-five percent of our teaching replacements with blacks. [Interruption]
A.C. Dawson, who was the head of the NCAE staff, got wind of it, and he, of course, was about ready to stir up the teachers about it. I said, "Well, there is no point in creating a battle here. You've got your budget to prosecute, and we were trying to get some more money for the teachers. If you go and have a knockdown, drag-out fight about the teachers examinations, it will jeapordize the budget. So let's not have a fuss about it. Let them go ahead and tell us by resolutionn that we've got to give the examination, and let's establish an experience with it. There's nothing wrong with it as a law. As people who give tests, teachers ought not to object to taking a test."
So we reached a gentlemen's agreement that we would do that. We told Rodenbeau and Wilson and Johnson and all of them that we would give the test. We would require it to be taken by all graduates of each of the approved institutions. We would

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maintain the records by institutions so that we could see what the experience was. Then they wouldn't have to establish the minimum. I would see that the board established the minimum. They agreed to pass the resolution. I think you'll find in the legislative journal the record of that. I've got it back there in my files.
Several years passed, I couldn't tell you now without going back to the record what year it was, that we had finally established the entrance level test score. It was while Dr. Carroll was there, and it was when we adopted the so called approved program approach to teacher certification which was advocated by the National Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. It meant that we would send committees in to each one of the institutions to look closely at the programs and evaluate them against standards that were agreed upon. They would point out weaknesses and would put some institutions on probation until these were corrected. Essentially the program is still being followed. The time came for the approval of the first institutions under that new approach. The University in Chapel Hill and East Carolina were the first to come up. Guy Phillips, the Dean of the School of Education at Chapel Hill was on the board. We were meeting there, at night, and the issue came up. I said, "Well, now, I will remind you that I've informed you of an agreement we made with the legislature. I, as the chairman, made the agreement and informed you of it. I heard no objection to it from the board that eventually we would establish a cutoff score, and now is the time to do it." And there was objection.

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I said, "Well, I feel that if we do not, then the legislature certainly will. I will have to tell them that you refused to do it, and I have to tell you too that I'm not going to approve any more of these programs presented to us until the minimum score is established as we agreed." That put a different light on it. Dr. Carroll said, "I agree that we need to establish a minimum score." I said, "Guy, we are not suggesting that Chapel Hill can't train teachers. But you are the bellwether of the whole group of institutions and if you are unwilling to have your teachers examined, how can you expect Barba Scotia to have its examined? They go with a degree and get a certificate equal to that of a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Duke University with no further examination. If you approve that program, and you're going to approve it sooner or later, you'll make a provisional approval on some things…" They're still doing that. I saw in the News and Observer not long ago where they have given a notice to have it straightened out in a certain length of time, or they weren't going—same old ball game. People at Barba Scotia know damn well they're not going to shut them down. So they are taking their own good time in doing what they want to do about it.
So we put it on individual acheivement. After all, a student at Barba Scotia who has achieved well should not be penalized because his instututin is not up to performance. You're getting at the wrong person. So we approved a minimum score. I think it was 950, or something like that, to establish where we would get twenty-five percent of the black population.

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The result in the next succeeding years, we had an improvement in the performance, on the average, of the institutions in the state of sixteen percentage points.
Craig came to see me when he was running for re-election, and he gently brought the issue up. He wanted to do away with it, and I opposed him in the board at formal meetings. Craig is very skillful at getting away from the press. We all know we had the rule that we couldn't have a meeting without the press. I told him I would not attend any meeting that the press was not notified of even if we will have them in your office, in your home, at Carolina beach, or anywhere else. They may not be there but they're going to know that we're meeting. We'd go out to the Rebel Room—you know where Red Balentine had that special room—and we would go for a social evening together. It was a very pleasant kind of thing. After the press came and finally got tired of it and left, then is when we'd raise critical issues. [laughter] He said he told the board he wanted to do away with teachers' examinations. I said that would never do. He said, "Well, there's no law against it." I said, "There's a rule against. There's an agreement with the leadership of the legislature." He said, "That's ancient history. They're all gone." Add Hewlett6 was no longer there. Grace Rosenbeau was dead, and Wilson works for the community college. [laughter] I said, "An agreement is an agreement. A policy is a policy that we have established. It's part of the common law of school

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policy, and it's dishonest to abolish it without notice, and I will oppose it.
The primary was approaching. Craig came down to see me one Saturday. We sat in there in the library, and we talked about everything under the sun. I wondered what was it he came down here for. Finally he brought it up. He said, "Since you oppose the elimination of teachers' examinations, I'm not going to advocate it anymore." Skipper Bowles was running for governor and I was trying not to get too involved in it, but of course Craig was running. It went along fine until after the primary, and Skipper won that. Everybody assumed Skipper would get elected, I included. I went up to see him and talk about his program for education. Gerald James had gotten to him and sold him on the idea of a fifty million dollar increase in vocational education in the public schools. Gerald used to be head of the Division of Vocational Education in the Department of Public Instruction. He had had his following at N. C. State and throughout the state, and he was sincere in trying to get it passed. I said that I felt it would not be politic at all for the board to be caught asking for less than what the Governor was likely to be proposing. So I asked Skipper, "What do you propose to do with the fifty million dollars?" He said, "I haven't the slightest idea. I'm going to leave that up to you all." [laughter]
I came back by Raleigh and told Craig and A.C. Davis where I'd been and what I'd learned. I said, "We've got to do something about that." I didn't realize, but that's when Craig

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and I began to break. He did not want Skipper Bowles, or anybody else, dictating to him what the budget of the department should be, what we should ask for. Davis wouldn't move. He was caught in the middle. He wouldn't put it in the budget.
We went down to Wilmington to the superintendents' conference, and I found that they had not prepared any fifty million dollar proposals for vacational education. Barton Hayes was chairman of the committee of the board, and he was very much in favor of it. He was pushing me. We went up to see Craig in his room, and he was having a cocktail party, a bunch of women in there and we couldn't talk business. He had a couple of guys playing the guitar. I don't go for that kind of stuff. I don't drink, and I don't care for it. So Barton and I went on downstairs and called Davis on the phone and told him to come down there. We cornered him and told him that if he did not put the fifty million dollar proposal in the budget that Skipper Bowles' proposed that we would do so ourselves and we were going to make issue in the formal board meeting about it. So I went on back to Rose Hill. I don't go to conventions of undertakers, and I don't like to go to conventions of school people where they carry on like that. Davis called me, and he was almost in tears and said, "We want you to come back down here." I said, "What do you want me to do?" "I want you to see Craig. He's going to cause a lot of trouble about this." I said, "Well, he's just going to have to cause it. I'm not going down there anymore. I did leave a message." Then I got a call from Jerry Melton wanting me to call Craig, same story. [I indicated to him that

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the issue was not negotiable], and said "I mean it, and I don't intend to change. Craig will just have to do whatever he wants to do today."
The result was that Craig called me from Raleigh after the meeting was over and said he wanted to postpone the board meeting and move it to Greensboro instead of Raleigh. I said to myself he just doesn't want Ed Gill to be there because Gill was not going out of town. To make a long story short, we went to Greenboro and several of them were missing. Charlie Jordon was there from Duke, and Barton and I. He brought up his proposal, having button-holed all the members of the board that he could and gotten them to agree to delete the teachers' exam in the initial certification of the graduate with a master's degree, and to appoint a committee to report in December whether or not to abolish the requirement for the A certificate—that is the baccalaureate graduates. We were outvoted, Jordan, Hayes and I, by the rest of the board.
From then until December 7, Pearl Harbor Day we called it, Craig had effective control of the board. He abolished the plan of accreditation of local schools and substituted the American Management Association idea which is not accreditation at all. He just abolished accreditation. I chose to be quiet about it. They could have voted me out of office as chairman any time they wanted to, and I felt it strategically wise to let the issue settle down. The News and Observer paid no attention to it. The Greensboro Daily News had one paragraph about the abolition of it, and it did not bother them at all, no editorial comments. I

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said I must be living in a dream world. I thought everybody would be alarmed by this. The situation was very tense from then until December. You know the result. Skipper Bowles was defeated. Our budget request included the fifty million dollars. Jim Holhouser came in instead. Neal Rosser, a member of the board that Governor Moore had appointed, had died. So there was a vacancy on the board. Bob Scott appointed Doris Horton, Carl Goercu's daughter. She lived in Pittsboro but he appointed her to represent the district from Raleigh to Rocky Mount. I told him it was unconstitutional, and he told me it was none of my business [laughter].
This was when Scott was governor?
Yes. He said he decided such things as that, [laughter] and I said it was quite all right with me but the Republican governor's going to decide it in the long run. Bob and I could talk. That's exactly what happened. Jim Holhouser and Bob Morgan, attorney general, turned Doris Horton out and put Republicans in her place. Well, I'm giving you too much history, but at the December meeting, Craig came in with committee report recommending the abolition of the national teachers' examination's minimum score. He retained the score, but he watered it down by another test of subjective values so that anybody that wanted to could get by without meeting the rated score. I voted against it. Burke Davis' daughter had just come to the News and Observer. I met her that day, Angela Davis, a very competent reporter with a very keen intellect. She's a UNC-G graduate—masters at Duke I believe. She came up after the

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meeting and wanted to know why I voted against it. I said, "I anticipated that somebody would have…


During the meeting on December 7, this was in '72, I guess—Holhouser came in in January of '73, didn't he, that we call Pearl Harbor Day—I didn't say anything against it in the discussion Craig brought up. I was presiding, and I tried usually not to be too forceful in the statements I made during meetings when I knew there was a division about it. Everybody on the board knew my opposition and expected me to vote against it, and they knew why. So it was really redundant for me to say anymore about it. I think, amazingly to us, Dr. Harold Trigg, the only black member of the board, voted with us. He voted to oppose the elimination of the test requirements. I don't know whether he knew what he was voting on or not. He had become somewhat senile, but I think he did. I think he was enough of an old scholar and philosopher of the old system that he felt it was a way to preserve excellence in the profession. That was his conversation to me.
At any rate, we were outvoted. I had prepared, the night before, a brief statement, so there wouldn't be any misquotation and made some copies. I said—a pretty terse statement, I guess—I said, "The blind cannot be expected to lead the blind. There's no such thing as a school without scholars, it's only a waiting room. I cannot in all conscience agree to this thing which I consider to be a disaster for the cause of excellence in education, and that's all." Angela was very much in favor of my view. I don't know whether it was she who convinced Claude

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Sitton,7 who was new to the News and Observer. I knew that Tom Inman and I agreed on it. He and I had talked before. I was, nevertheless, greatly surprised the next day to see the headline on the front page of the News and Observer alerting the state to the fact that a disaster had occured on the previous day [laughter].
Craig went to New Orleans, without realizing there was any problem, to attend a meeting of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the only remaining qualitative standard giver in the field of education. Jerry Melton was fit to be tied. He called me back home and alerted me to the fact that he was distressed. I said, "Well, you all took the action." I voted against it, and I told him why, and that's all I'd done about it. "I don't publish the News and Observer. I don't write pieces for it. I'm not the editor of it, and I'm not a reporter. But I stand by what I've said, and it's no more than I have said to the board previously. I didn't make any public statement yesterday except this one in writing." He called Craig, and the next day the damn thing was worse. Then Ed Gill decided, "by damn this is a good thing, and I want to get into this too." [laughter] He and I were chums from way back [laughter] We had a lot of fun together. He made his judicious statement that it appeared that the board had acted in undue haste. [laughter] He had been late getting to the meeting. Craig would bring up an issue so Gill would be out of the way, you know. There were only

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three of us that voted against it. Gill came in late, and he would have made four as I recall it. I may be off on that.
Well, the News and Observer wouldn't turn it aloose. In the Sunday edition, this was on a Thursday, by Sunday it was getting to be a hot political potato. You know how they do that kind of thing. You go interview Tom, Dick and Harry and see what they think about this. [laughter] Somebody said, "Well, if the doctors are going to be examined, I don't see why the teachers can't be examined." And the other one said, "Yeah, even the electricians and beauticians have to be examined. Who do the teachers think they are that they can get away without being examined." And the idea just grew and mushroomed.
My own senator, the distinguished gentleman from Lenoir, Harold Hardison, had never seen fit to come by to make my aquaintance before that. But he began reading the paper and decided it was time for him to know who I was and what I stood for. Dixon Hall brought him over to see me, and we had a good conversation. He said, "Frankly, I don't give a damn whether you have the exam or not, but I am hearing from people all over my district, and got to do something about that." I said, "Well, I'm disappointed to hear you say you don't care, but you want to serve the people's interests in what they want to do. You're going to hear more of that because the other papers are going to be picking this thing up." And sure enough they did. Out of all of the major dailies in the state, the only two that did not oppose the action of the board were the Charlotte News and the Asheville Citizen Times. That suprised me. Perry Morgan and

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Craig were pretty close from Craig's days in Charlotte, I think was the reason. John Reynolds influenced the Citizen Times about it. Somebody in the crowd began taking sides and started making photocopies of the News and Observer articles and mailing them all out to the other newsapapers. [laughter] It just became the cause celebre all over the state. I had a lot of fun with it because I got summoned to the legislature, not before any committees, but I tried to stay away from them unless I was called. I walked over there, and I just got buttonholed from one office to the other by everybody I saw—with overwhelming support for the position that I took in it. It startled me. I didn't cause the uproar. It was the News and Observer that did it, and I do not know why because they later opposed me on nearly everything I did. Well, they opposed Tom8, and they pushed him out, you know.
Well, Gill, finally, at our January meeting, decided this issue was too great to be settled without public airing. He thought the board should have a public hearing. I didn't want it but we had to have it. It was over in the highway building, and we had it jam packed. There were legislators there and people from all over the state, all the colleges. NCAE were publicly opposing this but they were treading on thin ice, and they were doing it with some considerable reservation. We provided for—had to take an ad in the News and Observer to submit your position paper in writing, and request a certain time period, and the controller would handle it. You know, after that hearing,

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the thing was split almost fifty-fifty right down the middle—professional educators who opposed it and those who approved of it.
Well, I'll be dogged.
That suprised me because I thought that it would be overwhelmingly approved. This guy from Chapel Hill who teaches at N. C. State—I can't remember his name, had been on the environmental board, Jim Wallace, very outspoken, but very effective and persuasive—he came before that hearing. A lawyer there in Raleigh, who's name is hard for me to remember, really did tear into Craig. Barton was presiding and had to call him down. I'll say his name after a while.9
It became obvious that the legislature would have to overrule the board, or the issue would never go away. So they got me to write a brief ammendment to the statutes saying that the standards for certification should not be less than they were on December 6, 1973 [laughter] or '72 in the event that the national teachers' examination score was used, or provide some other test that we used, but it would not be less than the score that was … That's still on the statutes.
You know what happened then? This is critical, too. Bob Strother, who was the assistant state superintendent for public instruction under Craig Phillips, agreed with me and told Craig so. Bob was his liaison in Washington. Bob told me that he was in the office of the deputy attorney general—what was his name,

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was there one named Stanley Pottinger, or something like that? I forget what his name was.
They turn over quite a bit.
I have his name in my file over there. He was on first name basis with the chief attorney general staff member in charge of the enforcement of desegregation. He had been liaison. He said this man showed him in a file a record of a telephome call when the legislature ruled against Craig on this issue. Craig called him and proposed that they bring suit against the state of North Carolina.
The federal government?
Yeah. And they did, alleging that the teachers' examination was racially discriminatory. The attorney general was to defend us, the state attorney general. Many, many sessions about that—I have a vast file of information on it. They sent their representatives down from the Justice Department to examine my personal files, three days on one occasion and two days, I believe it was, on another occasion. They went through every paper that I had, in these six hundred and eighty-five boxes, and I didn't withhold anything from them. In fact, I went and found some letters I thought they might be especially interested in. One in particular was one I wrote to Graham Barden, my congressman, who was a gentleman of the old school and opposed the idea of integration, who signed the Southern Manifesto. You remember that?
Yeah, I remember that.

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I sort of followed the technique to agree with somebody—yes, but, so-and-so, you know, and not go into them belligerently. They used that letter, pulled it out, with a stack of other papers. They wanted to take them with them, but I wouldn't agree. I said, "You are free to copy them here. You can bring in the photocopier, but if you take them out of my files, I lose control of them. You have no right to do that without a court order, and I am not going to release them to you. You're free to copy them here. You're free to read them and take notes on them, but if they leave my place, I lose control of them. I don't know what you'll put in with them when they come back or what you take away. I don't have copies of them." Ed Spees, the deputy attorney general, persuaded me to let him have custody of them. He took them to Raleigh and made copies, and he sent them back. I was supposed to stuff them in my old boxes. I never did do it. I found that was sort of rough treatment because I hadn't done anything, from that point of view. I was…
Trying to be helpful.
You know that thing went to a three-judge District Court, and they ruled against it to start with. Then there was a Supreme Court decision about an examination for police that resulted in some racial discrimination in the view of those who brought the case. The court ruled that it was not discriminatory. Then the District Court changed its opinion and said that our policy was legal if we would have the scores verified by an independent professional group, which we did. We got all the schools of education together and the national

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teachers' examination people. The result was they said the score was too low. They validated the test. The court approved. It went to the Supreme Court after I had left office. Of course all the wind was out of the sails by that time, but the New and Observer carried a front page article written by a kid who had never heard of the previous controversy. It said Craig Phillips took credit for the decision of the court which upheld the state's position. [laughter] I said, "Well, this is not where I came in, but this is a most interesting end to this whole controversy. [laughter] "
[laughter] That's a good story.
You see those sixty-odd ring binders up there on the shelf? They're a day by day chronicle of newspaper clippings and records of all the phone calls and the hairpulling and the lost hours of sleep on that particular issue. It probably is the most well documented controversy in the history of the state. [laughter] I did not give that collection to the archives. I showed it to H.G. Jones10 when he was down here. I said, "I am tempted to burn this thing, except that there's something about it that reminds me of Adolf Hitler, and I don't want to burn books." He said, "It's history. Don't destroy it." I didn't show it to the Department of Justice. I gave them five boxes and let them have a holiday with it, but I don't know what to do with that yet. I've got it here close by, and once in awhile I read it.
I'm sure somebody would like to have it.

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Maybe the Southern Collection would like to have it.
I'm sure they would.
If I could be assured that no personal injury would come to anyone—I have nothing but the fondest attitude toward Craig. I understand his contribution has been substantial. I am not angry with him no matter how boyish he has been in his attitude toward me. I don't carry any grudges. I don't agree with him, but that doesn't mean I have to fall out with him. I have not found a place to put it where I thought that kind of detached scholarly study of it would be…
I'm sure they'd like to have it over in Chapel Hill.
I have told the University at Wilmington that they could have my general files but not that. I don't know what I'll do. We'll see. I hope I have a few more years. I'm planning to live to the year 2000. I don't know whether I'll make it or not.
You look like you'll make it, Dallas.
Well, when you have cancer you don't know.
Well, that's true. Dallas, there's one thing that I wish we could cover as we wind this up, and that is the curriculum study which is very important to the public schools in North Carolina.
Yes. Didn't we cover the fact that I went over to see Hodges after I'd served a couple of years on the Board of Education—about a year, I believe it was around? I wanted to resign. There was nothing going on that I was interested in. I didn't feel we could get anything done there. I wanted to come back to Duplin where we were consolidating schools. I had been

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chairman of the board down here, and there was a vibrant movement, a grass roots movement, for reform in education. That's what I wanted to be involved in, and here I was on the supreme court that talked about marshlands and Torrens proceedings, dealing with technical, piddling things. That just frustrated me altogether. I said, "I understand exactly," and he said, "Tell me more about what you're doing in the school. You wrote an article in the Charlotte Observer about what we were doing down there. I've got the clipping." I told him, and he sat there spellbound. He put his hands down on his desk and told me to go back over there and make a proposal for what amounted to the Industrial Education Centers. I told him I was interested in excellence in education, the quality of education. I was tired of talking about teachers' salaries. I was tired of talking about need for new school buildings. Everybody knew we needed all of this. This is just the quantitative side of education, and I wanted to get to grips with the question of the quality of education. The idea of excellence is what interests me in the whole process. The housekeeping, the fiscal, the political part of it is necessary, but I don't care for it. I mean I'm not excited about that. I'd rather be doing something that has some result in the opportunity that people have to get an education of real meaning.
He agreed with me. He didn't want it to cost too much, and he invited me to make two proposals. One I've already discussed with you, the Community College System. The other one was what to do about the condition of public school education. After

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thinking about it at some length and talking to Guy Phillips about it, who was appointed to the board by Hodges not long after that, I made a proposal to him that we establish a curriculum study. [Interruption]
This proposal was based on my experience with Conant's group that we discussed earlier. What kind of curriculum do we have, actually? Not just in a general statewide statement, but what kind do we have in the Rose Hill High School? What kind do we have in the Edward's High School in Asheville? What kind do we have in Central High School in Charlotte? What kind do we have in the Davidson High School in Davidson, North Carolina? By the way, my old Greek professor had been principal there, and I imagine it was a very good experience.
It's a very good question to ask. Then, who's to say what kind of curriculum we need? There's been all sorts of ideas about it. You have the strong advocacy of vocational education. They've felt themselves at war with people who taught English and taught history. There was a strong element in North Carolina, always has been, for the fine arts. A lot of talented people and a lot of people who appreciate talent even if they don't have it themselves—hold in high esteem that creative spark that every human being has of some kind—and just pray for them an opportunity to develop that talent, whatever it is.
So it's hard to agree about the answer to that question. What constitutes the curriculum that we most desire? What is the kind that we agree we need? Then the question that we most

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often deal with, but without the thorough thinking on the first two that you should have, is how we want to get the curriculum we agree we need. We come up here with budgets that have much to do with the other two questions, but without the study that we need to have about where we are and where we need to go. Hodges said that makes sense. Of course it did. It's a businessman's idea about it. It's not the American Management Associations' management by objectives where every Tom, Dick and Harry sets himself a personal goal. Lindbergh said "I want to fly to Paris." Somebody else said, "I want to go fishing." You see, that isn't progress. It may have a place, but if you're going to do things in society collectively, you're going to have joint action toward the acheivement of the agreed goals. Somebody has to arrive at a consensus about it. You don't take a handful of dictators or aristocrats or plutocrats or monarchs or dictators or whatever to establish it, but you put the people in a position where they have to decide for themselves. You know, the biggest problem is that they don't do that unless somebody urges them. There are too many of them like the guy at the filling station in North Duplin who said he didn't have any part in choosing the governor, those people in Baltimore picked the governor. I'm saying we can answer these questions in North Carolina. We can arrive at a concensus about it, and then we can have an important program, a concensus that we can act on.
Most people say either the state decides or we decide locally. It's state versus local argument all the time, eitheror proprosition. I say there's a third option. The state should

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not and cannot wisely do this job alone. The local community cannot and should not do this job alone because there are such things such as statewide necessities, urgencies, exegencies, opportunities. So the state can create a situation where you reach a consensus of localities throughout the state. That's the third option.
And that, essentially, is what we went after in answering these three questions. We organized the citizens' committee movement in keeping with what Conant had advocated, and Roy Larsen and the others, especially John Hersey—whose friendship I value most highly and whose humanitarian commitment was very touching to me, very influential in my judgment. I found in reading Page—I tried to be a student of him all my life—that these were the ideas that he held out for North Carolina. He was blatant in his criticism of the state for failing to do it. He was so critical in writing his so-called mummy-letter, saying the leaders of North Carolina were mummies and satisfied to do nothing and be nothing, and all this young talent left the state or they stayed home and became alcoholics out of frustration. There was one who wrote him from Goldsboro, a young lawyer, and told him that he agreed with him, and he begged him to come back to North Carolina and join Josephus Daniels and the News and Observer and create a renaissance. That young man was Charles B. Aycock. I've not seen what Page wrote to Aycock about that, but these were brilliant earlier thinkers in our state, and they helped to bring about the renaissance. Our problem is to keep it on course today and keep ourselves philosophically in agreement

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with the democratic ideals that they had, and the realities that they brought about in keeping with that philosophy. Anybody can quote Aycock amd do his own thing. Anybody can do, innocently enough as Jim seems to me to be doing with the Carnegie group today—we're going to go do the job because we know how to do it, and we'll force it on them. The point is that they're not going to bite. You have got to bring the people along with you.
Well, I convinced Hodges of that, and he got the money from old man Smith Richardson to hire Epps Reedy and one assistant, fifty thousand dollars, big money in those days.
What year was that? Do you remember?
'58 or '9. We set up the committee, the citizens' committee to work in conjuction with it. We employed Raymond Stone to go about canvassing the state, establishing citizens' committees. Well, we got a grass roots movement going there as a result of it. The time was right for it, Jay. The people were restive after the experience of the depression and the World War, and nothing happened for the improvement of education during that period. These young people had been all over the world. They had seen Europe and all of its greatness and all of its weakness. They'd seen the South Pacific. They'd seen the rise and fall of Japan. They were not willing to come back home to Rose Hill and do nothing. They were ready for some action.
By the time of the end of the Hodges' administration, we had that movement going. People were going into the schoolhouses and looking at the physical plant and examining the faculty. The faculty was sitting there in the meetings with them. They were

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beginning to realize that the schools were too small to afford a decent curriculum—three and four and five teacher high schools where we ought to have at least a thousand students together to have a minimum curriculum. So they didn't wait for solutions. They didn't wait for legislation. They began pounding on the doors demanding consolidation of schools that a few months before they would have fought to the death to preserve, because they were the local community's last link to culture. I traveled that route, too. I was mayor of Rose Hill, and I didn't want us to lose our school. But it was just one step to broaden it to include the next community and say we could have a better school if you join us than either of us can have separately. I remember one year we consolidated fifty-five high schools across the state as a result of political action—maybe it's not correct to say political action—citizens' action locally generated.
The study showed up the deficiencies in the curriculum, and they realized they couldn't do it alone.
That's right. It covered the whole curriculum. It did not include just the primary school—the lack of kindergardens, the neglect of the humanities—it included all, also vocation. It was a well-rounded comprehensive program that we reached a consensus about. We had a central committee, and we had committees from the colleges and universities as well as representatives from the public school system to deal with the question of what constitutes a good curriculum in the English language; what constitutes a good curriculum in French, Spanish, German, foreign languages. Not whether we should have it

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available, but what it constitutes. For example, what is the methodology of foreign language instruction today. When I studied it, it was the old fashioned grammar approach. You learn all the grammar, the mechanics, the conjugation, the inflection of the language, the sentence order, syntax, and then begin to learn a vocabulary. They discovered that the best way to learn even an ancient language is the way the child learns his native tongue. He learns to speak it. So they set up language laboratories with the tape recorders and practiced that way so you got a feel for the language. You begin to think in the language, and then you dealt with the incorrect sentence structure and pronunciation and grammar as you went along. Now after fifty years, I retain a great deal of German grammar but I've lost my vocabulary because I never spoke it. We just were not taught to speak it. We were taught to read it, and you read what somebody else is saying, not what you would say. I have a friend over here who is a retired German theologian. He moved here from Germany, from Heidelberg I think, and he comes to see me once in awhile. I'll recite some German poetry, and he says I have a beautiful pronunciation but I have to struggle to remember what the words mean. If I could deal with him every day, I would learn the language quite readily I think, but I can't do that.
Now back to the point. This fervor created all over the state simply because we opened the door for democratic participation. It was not the united forces for education in Raleigh saying we need a fifteen percent increase for teachers. We need more instructional material. We need better school

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buildings. We need more school busses. All this ([unknown]) that the elite used to decide and hand it out for the grass roots to support. This is quite a different thing. We asked the grass roots to tell us what we needed, and then we began to get action.
Terry Sanford, who was in the 1953 session of the general assembly, did not lift his hand to help education or to hurt it. He was indifferent to it, according to his own account of it. I appeared before that session to present the united forces program during the Umstead administration. After I got on the board of education, I presented our findings. When Sanford began to run for governor and began to consider that, and he saw this awakening of the grass roots of North Carolina during the time when most of the south was involved with the struggle whether to close the schools rather than integrate or to integrate here. You know what this problem was.
They were closing the schools in the Farmville, Virginia, area, and we were talking about improving the curriculum in the schools. I don't mean we didn't have problems. We did have problems. But we were thinking positively about it too. Not only the leadership, but the people at large, dearly loved the schools and wanted the opportunities to be preserved, black and white, whether it meant schools separately or together. Terry was astute enough to see this. I don't mean that he didn't have a sincere committment or that he was being—simply being opportunistic. He was genuinely committed to the cause, but he did see, being the good politician that he was also, that here was the ideal issue. Look at the opposition that he had. He had

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John Larkins, who was a long time political activist in the state, an old school conservative. Whoever would have thought that John Larkins would be the main spring behind the forced integration of the schools in North Carolina. [laughter] In the days of Greg Cherry and Mel Broughton11, you would not have dared to think such a thing. Yet he did that.
As a federal judge.
As a federal judge. I guess the justice department told him what he had to say. I don't know. [laughter] At any rate, Terry had to beat John Larkins and Malcolm Seawell and Beverly Lake. At any rate, he won. Terry is not a very forceful public speaker, not awfully inspiring. He's not the kind of public speaker like Adalai Stevenson who'd get you to get up and walk down the sawdust trail. But he was able to get across the point that he was sincere and genuinely interested in what he was talking about and intended to do something about it. He was the voice of moderation, and competence, and positive, and kept saying over and over again that we have to think positively. I thought I'd die if he didn't quit saying it. [laughter] Let's just do it and not say it, you know? But he did succeed by the nape of his neck and got a new day in. I believe that the curriculum study had as much to do with it, his success …
It prepared the atmosphere.
Well, it was especially pertinent there in those times when there were so many negative pressures going. There were a lot of people in North Carolina who were so angry over the

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treatment they had gotten by the courts that they would have said, "Well, to hell with it, I'm going to start my own schools with my own kids." A lot of them did that and are still doing it today. It took the cream of the leadership off the top of the pile. It hurt the public schools, and it still hurts. But it could have been a whole lot worse.
It certainly could have.
I say it isn't. A lot of people expected that we would come up with a big report as most commissions usually do and put it on the shelf and let it gather dust. This is what we should do, and this is the kind of curriculum we ought to have. Well, we had some reports, but the main contribution of that effort was that it involved the people democratically and gave them an opportunity to have an effect on the quality of education, and they did do so. That essentially is the story.
In 1965 when Governor Moore came in, the legislature cut the money out of the curriculum study altogether and it ended. He did not call us over to say, "Look, is this doing anything good; has this resulted in any improvement?" You know how these things happen in the sub-subcommittee, and it just got cut out. I don't know who cut it out. I don't think there's been any doctoral dissertations or interviews about it. It just stopped. It was a severe blow to me but I couldn't do anything about it. Governor Moore was not following through with the citizens' committee, and it just died because this was a Sanford and Hodges' program. With all due respect to Governor Moore, he was a judge. He was not an executive. Judges don't do anything. They just flip the

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coin and decide who's right. He didn't perceive it as his duty. I told you about his statement, "Well, gentlemen, it's your problem, and the justice department!" [laughter] Now, don't get me wrong. I have a great deal of respect for Judge Moore. I think he was a man of ability. He was a victim of his own profession, is what I'm saying.
Yeah, temperament, approach to things. Perfectly legitimate, I suppose, in his field, to have the antagonist and the protagonist, and then all he has to do is decide.
I think I ought to put into the record what Governor Sanford said about you. He said Dallas Herring is the most eloquent spokesman for education in North Carolina in the twentieth century.
I don't feel very eloquent. I feel inadequate for that statement about me.
Well, as I did before, I thank you again, when you aren't feeling very well, for submitting to a second interview.
Delighted to have you always, Jay. Wish you'd come by every Saturday.
Thank you very much. This is the end of part number two of the Dallas Herring interview.
Charlotte Observer
2. I should have added that Henry Toy, executive secretary of the group, also opposed the Carnegie proposal.
3. I intended to say, " . . . dictating national policy in education."
4. Commissioner of Agriculture.
5. Ocracoke is a barrier island, isolated from the mainland.
6. Speaker of the House, 1959.
7. The editor.
8. Tom Inman, editorial writer.
9. Howard Manning.
10. Former head, Department of Archives and History.
11. Governors.