RE: Homogenity at SVS?

Scott David Gray (
Mon, 5 Aug 1996 23:16:38 -0400 (EDT)

On Mon, 5 Aug 1996, Wayne Radinsky wrote:
> Isn't SVS making the positive claim?


> Claim: SVS is better than public schools in income-disadvantaged settings.
> Evidence: ...
> Claim: SVS is better than public schools when students are not parent-selected.
> Evidence: ...

That is neither a positive nor negative claim. If evaluating whether A is
better than B, there is no assumption as to which is liklier to be
better. This is why _civil_ cases (that determine _degrees_ of
responsibility) _don't_ require unanimous juries.

There is evidence for these claims. You've heard it, and I don't think it
needs to be re-argued here. However, the a person who _accepts_ the
argument that SVS is an effective institution for the students who are
enrolled is making a _positive_ claim when s/he goes on to claim that it
_wont_ work for other types of people.

In fact, SVS _does_ argue a negative case against a positive case argued
by the traditional schools. Traditional schools in this country make the
_positive_ claim that _one_ type of person (teachers) is better able to run
the lives of _other_ people (students) than those people themselves. SVS
asks "where's your proof?"

> If there is no evidence, then these claims are undisproved (that is, not proved and
> also not disproved). Given the nature of SVS, I doubt there is much evidence on
> either of these claims. In fact I can't even think of a good way of testing them.
> But the claims might be tested someday. Until then we just don't know.

They shouldn't be tested experimentally. It would be cruel and inhumane to
force an experimental group to attend traditional school, while the lucky
control group is given human rights and dignity.

> Wayne Radinsky,
> Some guy who hated public school,
> And writes interesting (hopefully) email.

--Scott David Gray
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