John Porter, EMU Roles and Perspectives Interview, 1972


John Porter, EMU Roles and Perspectives Interview, 1972



EMU Roles and Perspectives was taped television program broadcast from the campus of EMU, and produced by Robert Hoexter (1930-1978). Hoexter joined the faculty at the EMU School of Education in 1964, and served as Coordinator of Graduate Advising from 1969-1971. A member of the Faculty Senate from 1973-1976, Hoexter was elected vice-chairman from 1974-1975, and chairman, 1975-1976. In this episode of Roles and Perspectives, Hoexter interviews John Porter. In 1979, Dr. Porter was appointed the seventeenth President of Eastern Michigan University. During his first year of administration, Dr. Porter unveiled an ambitious plan entitled "A Decade of Advancement", a phrase which has come to describe Dr. Porter's legacy to Eastern. In 1989, upon retirement from the University, Dr. Porter joined the newly created national Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In this interview, conducted when Porter was State Superintendent of Public Instruction in Michigan, Porter discusses the matter of accountability in Michigan schools. Accountability, to Porter, boils down to providing quality education to all Michigan citizens, but also includes quality communication between schools, parents, students, administration, and taxpayers. Bypassing the term “testing,” Porter instead claims that “assessing” students should involve determining whether students have acquired the skills and knowledge that teachers have expressed as being important to students. When questioned about promises made by the state in terms of funding, Porter says that it is the new responsibility of the state to “bridge the gap between promises and practices;” if the state can not meet the demands of the teachers, they must delegate responsibility to an entity that can meet those demands.

Interview Date



Michigan Public School system, John Porter, teacher assessment, student assessment, school funding distribution, vocational education, special education

Permission to Use

Permission to quote from this oral history should be requested from the University Archives (

Streaming Media

John Porter, EMU Roles and Perspectives Interview, 1972