Re: A meeting on diversity in svs-model schools

Alan Klein (AlanKlein@gnn.com)
Wed, 04 Sep 1996 00:01:14

David Barulich wrote:

>In the meantime, I urge the disucssants to examine themselves and really
>ask, Why is diversity such an important issue? I'll bet it all comes back
>to our old nemesis the OBSS.

An excellent question and a thoughtful one at that! I do believe that
democratic schooling is the OBSS (although there are many models to choose
from) because it allows each participant the freedom to pursue their growth
in the way they feel is most comfortable and beneficial. Those who believe
in respect for elders may do so. Those who want homework can do work at
home. Those who want to build treeforts can build them. And those who want
to teach themselves can do that, as well.

I believe that many people who find themselves on the bottom of the societal
pecking order don't gravitate to educational alternatives (and haven't for
the 25 years or so that I have been following it) because they don't want to
offer their kids up to what they see as experimentation. The mainstream
schooling, flawed though it is, opressive to their kids though it is, at
least represents society's official ticket up and out. They also see that it
is mostly those white Volvo-ites you mentioned who are behind most of these
alternatives (we've got the money, after all) and don't feel especially
welcomed by us. Our task, I believe, is to go that extra mile to make sure
that we are not perceived as just another bastion of monied privilege.

Alan Klein ... AlanKlein@gnn.com
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