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Record Group Number: 000402
Series/Collection Number: .S 1464
Creator: Florida. Dept. of Education.
Title, Dates: Commissioner of Education Ralph D. Turlington administrative files, 1974-1986.
Amount: 157.00 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Chronological.
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Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction was created by the 1868 Constitution.  In the 1885 Constitution, the Superintendent became an elected official.  The Superintendent headed the Dept. of Public Instruction (1869-1938) and the State Dept. of Education (1939-1968).  Under the 1968 Constitution, the name was changed to Commissioner of Education and the position became one of the elected Cabinet posts.  The Commissioner heads the Dept. of Education and serves as chief state school officer.
    Ralph D. Turlington was born October 5, 1920 in Gainesville, Florida.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida in 1942 and with a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard in 1943. Turlington served three years in World War II and then returned to Gainesville to join the University of Florida faculty to teach business administration.
    In 1950, Turlington was elected to the State House of Representatives from Alachua County and served in the Legislature until his appointment as Commissioner of Education.  He was appointed Commissioner of Education, April 25, 1974, and served in this position until December, 1986.  As Commissioner of Education, he emphasized improvement of the basic skills of reading, writing and computation and in raising the literacy level of Florida's youth and adults.
Summary:     This series contains the administrative files of Commissioner of Education Ralph D. Turlington from 1974 to 1986.  It documents the activities of the Commissioner of Education as chief educational officer of Florida's public school system, from kindergarten to graduate school.
    The series includes correspondence, memoranda, studies, reports, clippings, and other materials.  The records document Commissioner Turlington's interactions with his staff, the Divisions and Bureaus of the Dept. of Education, and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  There are also materials relating to the federal government, general operations, public relations, educational associations, and the county school systems.
    The series is incomplete.  The 1977-1978 and 1984-1985 records are incomplete.  The beginning of the series, 1973-1974, has records from the administration of Ralph D. Turlington, and his predecessor, Floyd T. Christian.
Finding Aids: Box listing available.
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Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Commissioner of Education.
School management and organization Florida
Added Entries Turlington, Ralph D., 1920-
Christian, Floyd T., 1914-