thumbnail of Nowhere to Go But Up
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
[silence] [intro music starts] [choir begins singing] [choir singing fades out] My father and grandfather knew old one-room Arkansas schoolhouses like this one. The water was outside in a well and the plumbing was still father outside in the woods. But many educators today suspect that the products of these old places would measure up pretty well against today's products, especially in the "Three R's", the basics - reading, writing, arithmetic. But things weren't really all that good back then and things today are not much better or maybe you haven't seen Arkansas report card. Adult illiteracy, we rank 49th, next to last among American states. College graduates the same, 49th.
Technical college graduates, 50th. Expenditures per pupil very near the last. Gifted student opportunities virtually none. Teacher salaries 49th again. Any honest teacher would give F's across the board. But the truth is, Arkansas has always had a problem with education. The proof is here in the Arkansas room of the University of Central Arkansas historical record is clear. I have the pages marked. The year is 1832, Albert Pike. He taught school here at Fort Smith but he had a problem with teachers salaries. Half his payment was in pigs, probably razorbacks. 1873, a certain Dr Smith addressing the teachers of Arkansas spoke these words "Owing to unwise legislation and other circumstances not necessary to mention here. Progress in Arkansas Education has not been very rapid."
The year 1921, Governor Tom McRae in a tough address to the teacher to Arkansas spoke these words. "In this state we are face to face with an educational crisis. How are we going to get the necessary finances. Can it be done under the existing property tax method? This state must, without delay, quadruple her investments in education." The year 1924, an educational leader Mr. W. E. Howell Brook had these words to say. Let us quit kidding ourselves with the with the model and sentiment that we have a great school system in Arkansas. Shall we tell folks the truth of the situation? Well according to the record of history, we weren't making the grade back then and we're certainly not making it today. Really there's nowhere to go but up. [music] I
don't think education in Arkansas will get better until parents start taking a little more responsibility for the education of their own children. Last year Arkansas graduated 26 math and science teachers. We need at least 126 every year. Well I think the most critical need is for the people of Arkansas to realize that we can't invest at almost the lowest level in this country in public elementary and secondary education and expect our system to be in the top 10. Not everybody can be a teacher. I'm really surprised at the state of Arkansas as well as some other states continue to certify a person who makes a D in a subject in their teaching field. Why when you go downtown like today you find so many people just hanging around the streets they can't find jobs? Why not? Most of em can't get a job because the don't have the education.
If, if we raised our [cough] ? on [cough] on a our, our severance tax on uh petroleum and petroleum products, gas and so on um to the to the level in Oklahoma, we would increase our revenue some 15 million dollars annually. That's not a great amount but it's nevertheless indicative. If we raised it to the level of Louisiana, it would uh generate some uh 30 million dollars additional. Something's wrong. Who is to blame? The schools, teachers, superintendents, principals, the Board of Education in Little Rock or the kids themselves maybe? Why can't Johnny read? Or is there something wrong with us? After all, schools are a good reflection of our society. That's us. Before we get into Arkansas Education maybe we should have a look at a more terrible problem, no education. Mrs. ?Meion? Wilson is a former teacher who donates much of her time free of charge to help adults learn to read and write.
There are 365,000 adults in Arkansas who are functionally illiterate. 27 percent of the population. How does Arkansas rate among the other states? 49th. Thank God for Mississippi. Well no, Kentucky. Hundreds more volunteers like Ms. Wilson are needed over Arkansas. Getting a decent education in an Arkansas elementary or high school may depend on where you happen to live. For example take Russellville and Dardanelle, they are divided by the Arkansas River. Russellville schools are rich, Dardanelle's poor. The reason is a nuclear power plant on the Russellville side of the river. This plant gave over 7 million dollars last year in tax revenues to Russellville schools. Classes are ideally small for its students. Over 70 percent of its teachers have master's degrees. It's gymnasium would put the New York Athletic Club to shame. But there's a cloud on the horizon for Russellville schools. We feel like that every school district in Arkansas should be
adequately funded. like Russellville. Well Mr. Young, according to this report on uh education in Arkansas, I read, districts with large utility Property Assessment like Russellville will be almost bankrupt in about seven years after reassessment. What this will do to all school districts particularly those districts with large utility complexes will, uh, cut back drastically on their, their revenue. Now let's see what life is like on the other side of the river in Dardanelle. Funding here per student is around half that of Russellville. This whole trailer is used as a classroom. It did serve as a superintendent's office. Inside the school the situation is only slightly better. Biology teacher Bill Ingram won the honor in 1982 of being named Arkansas teacher of the year. And this district we have the enthusiasm and we have the students I think really what we're short on are facilities and equipment. [Carter] I think in this class we need more microscopes and more time for lab more lab equipment outside.
That we can do higher order thinking labs and that kind of stuff Dardanelle has another asset which might be envied by any high school in America. Dr. B.J. Chandler for 10 years Dr. Chandler was dean of education at Northwestern University. But he quit wanted to come back home to Yell County. [Chandler] The Dardanelle school district faces very real problems we have to scrounge and improvise with regard to facilities we simply do not have adequate facilities or instructional materials and supplies there are four things that are absolutely essential for quality education. One is a good curriculum and curriculum materials, two is a very active involvement of parents in the educational program. Three are adequate physical facilities and four are qualified and efficient teachers and administrators. Do you have all of those four things Dr. Chandler? [Chandler] No sir we do not uh we do have I would say
two of them, namely active involvement of parents. And certainly we have qualified teachers. But our physical facilities are terribly inadequate and the curriculum is in need of improvement and we're working on that right now. How about your physical education. [Chandler] 3 or 4 years ago we were spending 30 to 35 thousand dollars on athletics mainly football but we weren't spending a dime on health and physical education. In fact there was no program of any kind on health and physical education until two years ago. Very often with Arkansas schools you're either a prince or a pauper. It's either feast or famine. Let's see one of the very poorest school districts. Ever hear of Witts Springs Arkansas it's in Searcy County on the edge of the Ozark National Forest a place of beautiful scenery beautiful kids and little money.
Mr. Edgar Lofton superintendent of Witts Springs district. [Lofton] Consolidation isnt practical for up to the distance would have to travel time that would have spent on the bus routes some of our kids get on the bus at seven o'clock now and get in at 8:30 in the morning and to travel another thirty eight miles distant from another hour that they would need to travel for a bus. Most of our bus routes are 50 miles or longer, we have one bus route thats 65 miles one way consolidation is not even a question here. There are no near neighbors to consolidate with. But consolidation can be and often is a burning issue. Each one of those consolidation proposals of a of District A and District B must stand on its own feet. And and I think the people in the Arkansas Department of Education probably know which ones should be consolidate and which ones won't. Certainly if a school, if school district can't get an A rating from the State Department of Education then it needs to examine itself very carefully
because I I think that's a very minimum requirement for a school district if its not doing that it's not doing the job probably for its children. [Teeter] There are many school districts of very small size that have high achievement scores and yet by the same token small school districts are far more vulnerable to poor scores. It is absolutely impossible except at prohibitive costs to provide an adequate educational program at the high school level for our children in schools of less than three to four hundred enrollment. And that's marginal. Really About 500 is the ideal size. I think we have some high schools that are s- small Beyond the ability to offer to provide the offerings to young people in the nineteen eighties I think some of those high schools would better serve their children if there were more students there. But I think we have been misled to believe that if we eliminated
for example the hundred and eleven districts in this state which are below 350 students that's about six percent of the students in this state. Last year they spent 39 million dollars all told in those 111 districts, our largest district in the state spent 53 million. Consolidation is not a nice word here in rural areas of Nevada County where 6 school districts are sometimes only 4 miles apart. It's not hard to understand why a small community fights to hold its school that school can be the cement which holds things together. It can serve as a community center a place to vote, a meeting house. But the only question is can these small schools educate well enough. [Martin] The patrons, the teachers the student body. are all opposed to consolidation. We have several reasons why we're opposed to it. One is because our students do well. They do well in college
They do well in our SRA achievement scores, and we are proud of our school. We feel like we have a quality education here we have no disruptive factors. We don't have to have dogs in our in our halls searching out for drugs. We have no discipline problems no disruptive behavior. We have a good environment for learning here. But I'm against consolidation in the counties I do have children in school, it would be a long way for them to have to travel it would be awful tiring on them. I guess that's the biggest thing. In the best of all possible worlds every small town would have a nuclear power plant to tax heavily for it school revenues this one gives a little town of Newark, in Independence county, even richer schools than Russellville the school facilities are superb. No college journalism department in Arkansas can match Newark High's TV studio.
Newark superintendent Dr. Robert de poster Well I recognize that there's great inequities that exists between the various school districts in the state and in the nation and I think the debate that's going on about things and I think is very good. I might say that I am more and I think our Board of Education is for equal educational opportunities for youngsters. I should point out that the inequities however are not new that they have in fact existed as an example here for a hundred years we have been going to the county seat towns of Batesville buying our tractors and our shoes and our clothes and have not participated in the revenues from that town. So the inequities that have existed are really have been the better schools in your larger towns and the PERS schools and the towns of our size school facilities
didn't make much difference back in 1815. Conway artist Doris Curtis painted her idea of Lawrence county's famous pioneer school. And again it produces early Arkansas leaders. Jonesboro high school is a success of another sort it's not a rich school district. This year Jonesboro high along with two of the district's middle schools were chosen by the Federal Education Department as outstanding. Only a few cities in America had three schools on this list. Jonesboro's secret is parental involvement. Community Support does every school in Arkansas get that. I don't think the teachers in Arkansas are doing as well as they could because they're not getting the support they need. They're not getting the financial support they're not getting the moral support they're not getting the communities they're not getting their own administration support. They're having to reach into their own emotional and financial pockets
to provide an education for the children of Arkansas. I don't think this is fair and I don't think the people of Arkansas realize this. I don't think they realize that most teachers provide a great many of the supplies that their students use I don't think they realize that the teachers use as much of their own personal time as they do their lunch hours their evenings their weekends. Dr. Chandler do you think that communities are playing their role in education. No I do not. I think as a general rule they are shirking their responsibility and turning it over to the schools and I think to a large extent the schools have imposed an isolation upon themselves. And it makes as much sense to me to try to educate children without full participation of the home as they would for the pediatrician to take care of the health of your child without any contact with the parents of that child. We ask our schools to do an awful lot. We mean some people even want to pray for you know we pray at home where we should pray
and and uh uh we want the school to give them career orientation we want to give them economic orientation we want to give them physical education which also can be done at home. We want to teach them manners and discipline which also can be done at home. And wont be done in a lot of homes I fear. Um And so we're asking schools to do all these things. Uh when When Arkansas schools were at their, were at their finest, we didn't have to do anything but the to tell how to read write and cipher. These days in Arkansas teachers are in the eye of the storm over education. Did you ever wonder what it's like to be a teacher. It's very rewarding especially working with students that when it comes to all the hassles that you have to put up. We had like low salaries and poor facilities and educational materials that cannot be furnished because of lack of funds it is very depressing and sometimes it makes you just want to throw up your hands and quit In the long run I think we have much more effect because all the doctors and all the lawyers and all the CPA's were educated and they were educated by teachers. Arkansas
teachers in effect have been subsidizing education for the children of Arkansas at my salary if I were a single parent my children would qualify for free lunch. And the other children in this school know it because they all take home a little sheet from the federal government that says what salary qualifies you for free lunches. And I am at the top of the salary schedule. I make as much as I can possibly make. There I said you know this as I said it's a short quick trip to the top. The question asked not only in Arkansas but everywhere in America these days is why can't Johnny read? Based on our review of data over the last three or four years we know that we have about 10 to 12 percent of our students who graduate from high school with about an eighth grade reading proficiency. Why is this Doctor Williams, you have here in Little Rock one of the best public school systems in the state.
We recognize now without apology that we don't have the command of the science related to education as we should. If you look at some past explanations of why there have been the kinds of amount of failures you find all kinds of reasons across the board. But recently more educators have accepted the fact that we've got to refine our technology and simply do better that which it is we are obligated to do. Do you think they deserve their diplomas. Yes because we as an institution have the responsibility of helping those young people learn the things that we set out for them. And what I said in my opening statement was it is not so much that they bear the responsibility of not being able to do it but that we as a professional group have not refined our skills and
technology to make sure that they do it at an optimal level. Another part of controversy in Arkansas these days is the question of small scattered colleges versus fewer larger centers of learning. Arkansas Gazette editorial cartoonist George Fisher has some ideas on this. We have too many colleges in Arkansas. The concept of having a college for every neighborhood convenience colleges as it would be fine if we could afford it. Here again it would get afford it would be great but we can't. And what happens is we have colleges and in small communities where. We siphon the money off from the top and take some of the excellence off of our larger institutions I think we have too many colleges I think we ought to draw the line have and uh vote in no more colleges until such time that we can afford such colleges and just
last legislative session we voted in one more. Oh in [place]?? Arkansas I don't know where it will end I guess it will end when we have one college for every legislator. Dr. George Antonelli a dean of education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff does not agree. Quality in America is diversity and diversity is basically a pattern or situation where each person can go and find the kind of education they want be that private be that public be that sectarian be that religious. I think our Constitution speaks to the issue of diversity and. To argue with that to decrease diversity increases quality might not be a valid argument. We have a unique country in which we attempt to educate all people so therefore diversity I think is very necessary. And to argue that it detracts from quality I think is counterproductive to what America is really all about. Another debate is the issue of technical education. Are we preparing our youth
for an industrial future. Maybe a high tech future. I'm not a native of Arkansas but I have been in Arkansas for about eight years and I manage a high technology plant producing a high technology product. I have a couple regrets. I love living in Arkansas. I love the neighborhood. I love the quality of work life and I love the work ethic of people in Arkansas. But I do have one big regret that most of the big jobs, the better jobs in my plant I'm not filled by Arkansans, for instance I have twenty six graduate engineers in engineering and management positions this plant not a single one is an Arkansan. Why? we re- we have recruited in all the mid-south schools uh since the plan started in 1976. We have had a few very few Arkansans available to fill these jobs who had the
skill the training education necessary to do the jobs required for this high technology plant. It's definitely the fault of Arkansas school starting at the lowest level in the schools. The people who will graduate high school in many cases are either not prepared for college or technical school are not motivated by the educators to go on to technical education. Also at the at the um college level. There are not enough technical schools in the state to produce a number of graduates for instance. Recently a survey was made of the needs of the engineers in northeast Arkansas alone I've forgotten the exact number but this is something like 100 graduate engineers per year are needed in the northeast part of our state alone and most of those jobs being filled by people from outside of Arkansas. The Vo-Tech schools generally speaking are not geared for the future the future is now. The jobs are here.
All elected offices, particularly the governor are elected for two years. This doesn't really give the man time to embark on controversial programs or make perhaps unpopular program because he has essentially been running for re-election the day after election. Well maybe it's just a natural evolution of the trial and error. We tried a system in which the educator sets up curriculum and without the help of industry and maybe now we are aware of the need maybe that the two will get together very closely from here on. Can you give me an example. What are they not teaching in the Vo-Tech schools. Well they were teaching hairstyling and automobile mechanics just like the high schools were 25-30 years ago. What should they be teaching. They need to be teaching the technical subjects that the industrial people in the state and industries of state can can
show them. Especially that fundamental science background for these technical settings. All of the programs that we have in place were approved based on a demonstrated workforce requirement. Now some people in industry will say I need an industrial electrician and they say nurses and draftsmen coming out of a local vocational technical school and they say that's irrelevant. Well it is it's irrelevant to their needs. But I think our nursing care industry needs technicians just as much is a fact fabrication industry in this state does. We have a very rigorous evaluation program uh being developed right now that will tie a part of the program evaluation criteria to the percentage of graduates that are placed in an occupation related to their training. No other education program in the state has that kind of a
criteria. Now let's go to the top. Higher education and Arkansas. Here is the tower of Old main hall at the University of Arkansas on Federal. What you might call the flagship of Arkansas' system of higher education. The facade of Old Main is crumbling inside Old Main are scores of classrooms conference rooms and lecture halls. But there's no money to begin repairs. Not far behind Old Main is a giant hole it was dug for the foundation of a building for the engineering school. The problem no money again. University chancellor James Howlett is the principal problem at the Fayetteville campus is the need for additional state resources. These monies are need needed to improve the support that we can provide for our family. To conduct a teaching operation to provide them with adequate facilities such that they can do the research and scholarly activities that they need to conduct.
And finally we need to ensure that they have proper housing such as they can to facilities we have will be competitive with those of other institutions. The leading front page article in a recent issue of the Arkansas Gazette featured the university in Fayetteville Now what are the Fayetteville Blues? Fayetteville blues I'm not sure I know what that means I do know that a lot of folks around here who are kind of blue and mainly around the university of this this university community has has been hard hit by this money problem we've got. We lost 2 good teachers out of 10 this year. Why? Mainly money. One went to the University of Kansas one to the University of Alabama Alabama. George Wallace stole one of our best teachers this year. They both left for substantially higher pay. Traditionally Arkansas has had this this attitude that if if it's sports it's all right. The Razorbacks are the state heroes that kind of thing. I sense that there might be a beginning of a turnaround here
uh we for for example the the student newspaper The Arkansas traveler has had a series of very tough editorials this fall questioning whether we put too much of our attention into the Razorbacks and sports a fairly new idea on this campus where the sport's have always reigned supreme. The fact is that's that's an indication that we do have some some people, uh students here who who are uh in earnest about education and they feel cheated when they come up here and they get nothing but fraternity parties, uh the Razorbacks hoopla on Dixon Street after a game. The program in creative writing has been in existence for 18 years. We've had 300 graduates. Out of our creative writing program in that time in fiction and poetry who have produced over 60 books we think we are one of the best creative writing programs if not the best in the country but we've been eroding. Literature is really
an inexpensive subject to teach. We need paper and pencil really. You don't need fancy equipment or big buildings. But we've taken maintenance budget cuts. We can't give assistantships and fellowships in the way that we could it seemed 10 years ago. The faculty is leaving the campus. There's holes in the ground where a new building should stand. It's part of this general erosion. Some of our most valued faculty members have already left and others I know of are on the verge of leaving. Not just because of low salaries and lack of facilities but because of what lies behind that, that the citizenry of the state simlpy are not committed to higher education. While the University's engineering school is waiting for that hole to be filled with a new building advanced research nonetheless goes on in an old pantyhose factory [Schmitt] well our big problems money for a new building and and and we are desperate for additional operational funds and faculty hours as I mentioned. Our main
need is a new engineering facility. Farming in Arkansas is our major occupation. Our bread winner and a matter of pride here in the university's agriculture school research results are directly applied to the problems of our farmers new strains of grapes are created for the growing wine industry. [La Ferney] Despite all of the accomplishments that we're making in agricultural research and the tremendous facility and faculty that we have together here to continue doing this and beyond really on the cutting edge in science. We do have one problem that I would essentially sum up our problem area with and that is uh we simply are not funded at the level that's going to take to continue to support these scientists in an operating budget sense. Probably for the first time in history. Weeds are being cultivated here. Arkansas weeds. The goal to kill them quicker and better. This experiment is unique in the world. The
university's chemistry department is nationally known for its work which is carried on against rather unbelievable odds. One visiting professor here last year called the physical plant a scandal and a disgrace. The ceiling is literally falling in. Last summer work stopped here. There's no air conditioning. Often chemical research demands a fixed room temperature. In the event of an explosion in this lab. The only escape route is sliding down this rope out the window. Nonetheless highly advanced research in structural chemistry which gets back to the origin of our universe still goes on. Also unique in American universities is a research and laser rays in the physics department here. It is heavily funded by the National Science Foundation here at the university in Fayetteville it's a question of make do with not enough a question of coping with problems which are getting worse. A surprising part of its budget comes from outside the state from companies which appreciate the quality of
its research from donors private grants. The people in the state of Arkansas are less generous not only for federal but for the other state educational institutions university professors here joked rather bitterly that they'd like to have an educational system worthy of the Razorbacks. If Arkansas has a sacred cow it's that beautiful brutal game we call football and the queen of the sacred cows is the Razorbacks. But the cow gives little milk for education. Gazette editorial cartoonist George Fisher dares tickle the sacred cows ribs from time to time. I am sport fan myself. I follow the Razorbacks and I root for them just like everybody else. But we live in a poor state and sometimes I think we we forget about our priorities we send kids to school to get an education. But we will let some things get in the way sometimes. [Starr] Oh I think that uh athletics can fit into the University program I'm not sure that the University of Arkansas is not the tail that wags the dog but the
atheletic program has become more important at least in the minds of the public than the educational program. Are you saying that football sometimes interferes with education. No I'm saying that sometimes education interferes with football that's apparently what happens a lot of times at the university of Arkansas. So. Ah if Arkansas had the passion for education that it does for the Razorbacks we would have the industrial genius of Japan the wealth of Saudi Arabia and the culture of old Europe. But at least nobody has to pay for the Razorbacks. They are a money making machine. It's not the same for all other state supported University football teams. Here's Jim Blair vice chairman of the State Board of Higher Education. [Blair] If you exclude the Razorbacks that make a profit then the rest of the colleges and universities in the state probably run a deficit of approximately four million dollars on Intercollegiate Athletics per year. Theoretically the students play and I think in actuality the students pay, it would average out about 50 dollars per
semester per student to fund athletic deficits. in a certain neighboring state. Things seem to be looking up in education. We're in a rather poor small town named Verona and the state we used to be able to say thank God for, Mississippi. One of the reasons we can no longer say thank God for Mississippi is to be seen in this little school building here. This is one of the innovations Mississippi is using these days in first grade classes teacher has a helper which means she doesn't have to stop to help those kids which might be having a little problem. It's a simple idea but it has brought reading levels up dramatically up from the lowest 10 percent in America into an upper 60 percent rate. If there's one man responsible for convincing the people of Mississippi to pull themselves out of the bottom place in American education it's an honest tough courageous politician who lives here in the governor's mansion. William Winter. Governor Winter how did you do it. [Winter] We did it only after a long hard struggle we did it only after we failed uh two
times uh in regular session with the Mississippi legislature. But I sense that there was a feeling among the people of Mississippi that they were not satisfied with the quality of education that their children were getting. And so in a course of about six months we went out and mobilize public opinion. We made telephone calls we wrote letters we had phone banks and we had a series of public forums over the state. It was a coming together of the people of Mississippi who were not satisfied with things as they were they were tired of Mississippi being last in education and they were determined to do something about it. And as a result of it mobilized enough for support that a reluctant legislature that had twice turned this program down passed it in the special session December 1982. Well Governor Winter could I ask you who or what were the major forces of opposition to educational reform here.
Well you always have the stand patters, the status quo people who say well it was good enough for my my father and my grandfather. It's good enough for m- me we're getting along pretty well. You have some vested economic interests who were opposed to it. You had some opposition from from some of those that would have been required to pay some additional taxes. You had some opposition from those in areas where public education has not been sustained on an adequate level. You had some frankly some racial problems in connection with it but these there were pockets of resistance all up and down the line. But the overwhelming support of the people generally of this state is what brought the changes about. Well Governor, specifically what are these sweeping radical changes that you've made here. Well first of all we took the position. That we must attract to the education profession the highest quality of teachers that we can get. And we cannot get the best teachers if we are not competitive in terms of salaries. So we've
built into this bill a 10 percent increase in teacher salaries in addition of that of course we were obliged to address programs early childhood education has been a weakness in our system we we have no state wide public kindergartens or at least we did not have until this bill passed. We now have set in motion a state wide public kindergarten program that we're going to effect in two years at the present time. We have created a reading aide or teacher aide program where this year and every single first grade classroom in every school in the state there's a reading aid a teaching aid or learning aid for all the teachers in that particular classroom. We determined that there must be a higher standard for the certification of teachers and so we set up a teacher certification commission looking toward the process by which we determine the eligibility of people to enter the teaching profession. We determined that the measurement of the quality of a school
system lies in the product that school system turns out and so we have instituted a performance based system of determining school accreditation. That is not enough that the bathroom to clean is not enough that the doors will lock. We want to be sure that the boys and girls at that school is turning out have mastered the subjects to which they've been exposed in that school. And in addition to that we have we have a meaningful compulsory attendance law that now has resulted already in some 3000 additional students who probably wouldn't have gone to school this year being enrolled for the first time. Well Governor Southerners have been talking ever since the Civil War about the new South. This present concern over the South and education. Does that possibly mean we're going to start trying to make a new South here. You think I think there's a spirit in the south that sees this area as providing the leadership for this country. We are now the
most populous area of the country in the first place. We are now the area that where I think more dynamic growth is taking place. And in order for this growth to be sustained and result in a in the kind of economic benefits that the South must have there's a realization and a commitment that we must improve our standards of education that the South cannot take the leadership in this country unless it has a school system that is good at least as the rest of the country has. Well Governor now that we in Arkansas are last in education I do you have any advice to give us. Well I'm- it would be presumptuous of me to try to give anybody in Arkansas any advice I think you're fully aware of what the needs are, Mississippi and Arkansas are very much alike states of relatively small towns and medium sized cities. A lot of our rural areas I grew up in a rural area myself I understand I think the uh state of mind of the
people um uh in my state and as I say I think it's very much like the people of Arkansas so what uh I would say in terms of what you uh are in the process of doing in Arkansas is, that you mobilize this public opinion that exists I guarantee you it exists out there in the in every community in Arkansas. I can't believe that Arkansas is any more satisfied with an inferior system of education than Mississippi has been. And I believe you'll do something about it. I am extremely optimistic as I've kind of listened to the discussions around the country and those in the state of Arkansas in particular. There is no question in my mind that the leadership that we have in the state now has set that as being a number one agenda and it will be accomplished. Oh I have a great deal of concern is that whether or not Arkansas has a resolve and the will to put ourselves in the position to
compete for the higher job, the higher quality and higher skill jobs of the future. I doubt that we will be willing to tax ourselves to upgrade the quality of secondary vo-tech and college level education. I think we have a grand opportunity this year to do something momentous in education but I'm afraid we're not going to do anything terribly dramatic. And of course what we needed are dramatic improvements. I'm very optimistic that the governor's going to be able to get the program through. I think if he doesn't get it in this special session of the legislature he will call them back again and call back again until he does get the program adopted. You might say the jury on Arkansas Education is still out but over the past two years the people of virtually every Southern state have voted and are willing to pay the necessary for a drastic overhaul of their educational system. Every state that is except ours. The bottom line is the same as it was a century ago. It's the core fact that Arkansas has failed to provide a good enough education for its youth.
The jury is still out. But don't forget you are the jury. [music] [music] [music]
Nowhere to Go But Up
Producing Organization
Arkansas Educational TV Network
Contributing Organization
Arkansas Educational TV Network (Conway, Arkansas)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/111-623bkcgx).
Program Description
The program examines education in the state of Arkansas. Interviewees discuss needed improvements.
Program Description
"NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP' is a documentary on the past and present state of public education in Arkansas and addressed to the general public here. At its inception, it attempts to show, using the historical record, that Arkansas education has failed its mission in the past. It also attempts to prove that Arkansas continues to do so. For the most part, it portrays the important educational issues being debated today with encouraging vigor by Arkansas from all walks of life. The majority of the personalities in the documentary are from the field of education, but they also include students, townsfolk, and the Governor of Mississippi (the neighboring state with which Arkansas has a traditional feud to keep from ranking 50th among American states in education--and numerous other areas)."--1983 Peabody Digest.
Created Date
Asset type
Arkansas Educational Television Network Copyright 1983. All Rights Reserved.
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Editor: Parker, Dave
Executive Producer: Mottler, Mike H.
Narrator: Cole, William
Producer: Cole, William
Producing Organization: Arkansas Educational TV Network
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Arkansas Educational TV Network (AETN)
Identifier: 4160 (Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) Production Video Library (PVL))
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:43:38?
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: 83039edt-arch (Peabody Object Identifier)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:44:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Nowhere to Go But Up,” 1983-10-04, Arkansas Educational TV Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “Nowhere to Go But Up.” 1983-10-04. Arkansas Educational TV Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: Nowhere to Go But Up. Boston, MA: Arkansas Educational TV Network, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from