RE: Homogenity at SVS?

David Barulich (
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 07:32:18 -0700 (PDT)

Wayne Radinsky wrote:

>But people ask these kinds of questions because the traditional model is
>the status quo, so from that perspective, SVS has the burden of proof.
>This is the whole reason the question comes up at all, because there is
>a mountain of evidence SVS works in the general case, so people ask
>about extreme cases like impoverished inner-city schools.

Barulich responds:

I guess you have to ask yourself, Why is the question, Will SVS work in
inner-city schools? a threatening question?

The root of the fear is the belief that there exists a ONE BEST SYSTEM for
all children. Therefore, if SVS doesn't work in the inner city, it couldn't
be that ONE BEST SYSTEM. If you instead assume that there isn't one best
system for all children, then the fear goes away. The implied threat of the
inability to answer the question affirmatively disappears.

So what if SVS doesn't work in the inner city? The question assumes that we
need institutions to save people. What ever happened to the belief that
people have to want to save themselves and take responsibility for their
destiny. SVS would certainly provide children and parents who want the
opportunity to take advantage of their freedom. For those who are waiting
for someone to "save them" or "give them a job" or do other things that many
belief the welfare state should for individuals, then I don't think SVS will
work for them. Anyone who has spent much time with poor people in the inner
city knows that the numbers of people with this dependency attitude are legion.

If you truly believe in freedom, then you have to let them fail. If you
believe that you are entitled to force them to succeed in life, then you'll
probably be better off sending them to a Marine boot camp, instead of SVS or
a public school.