Re: the right to pursue excellence

Deborah Bartle (
Fri, 02 May 1997 11:15:50 -0700

Cathy Pauline Lachapelle wrote:
> I think you're overstating the power of the federal government here.
> Goals 2000 is nothing but show.

I am compelled to feel otherwise, to protect our freedom from

> Even most states have very little power
> compared to local school districts. And districts can in fact be quite
> different from each other.

Or, the opposite, quite supportive of each other, and resistant to change.

> abandon the public school system, which most of our country (and the
> world) embraces, and devote ourselves solely to the Sudbury model (or any
> one model?)

I agree, that isn't going to happen any time soon. However,
granting young people the personal Rights and Freedom to make
their own qualified decisions as full citizens does seem like
a reasonable idea.

> It is the principle of respect for young people's autonomy
> and intelligence that I support, and I for one will continue to work for
> change (no matter how slow) in all schools.

I applaud you for being here, open, and looking at other ideas.
After reading John Holt's work I became discouraged at ever changing
the current system. I figured if he couldn't change it, I would not.
Then I read John Taylor Gatto and figured if he couldn't change it then
surely, I couldn't. But, that doesn't mean that it won't change as many
more educators open to new ideas in educating people. Or, are we not
actually updating old ideas.

Then, I learned about Sudbury!! I personally feel that SVS is the best
idea I've ever heard and nothing compares. Even then, I still have to
swallow hard occasionally, but that is probably true of parenting, in