Re: DSM: Re: RE: RE: RE: religious school = more military like?

Joe Jackson (
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 13:44:35 -0400

>Accreditation is is only valuable insofar as one wants the respect of the
>accrediting organization. If the accrediting organization's criterion are
>ones that a given school would be proud to declare itself as adhering to,
>it doesn't make sense to seek accreditation from that organization.

That is not correct - SVS is accredited by the town, and MA won't shut you
down. If that were not the case, SVS would certainly be making the NEASC
decision using a far different criteria, and I bet pride in being a member
would not be one.

We live in a world where having credentials is sometimes more important than
believing what the certificate says.

>At one time, the NEASC accreditation was valuable to Sudbury Valley. SVS
>sought, and received, NEASC accreditation for decades. The accreditation,
>one time was given to schools that were run in a professional manner, and
>what they claimed to do -- providing a place where children were well
>At the same time, Sudbury Valley was alone in the world, and didn't have
>hundreds of alumni or a proven track record.

Another reason you can't say that business reasons alone are not reason
enough to seek NEASC accreditation. We are a small school that the State of
Maryland would not allow to operate without accreditation. SVS is fortunate
to be in the right state, and to have started back in the day.

>Seeking NEASC made perfect sense
>-- the accreditation only declared that SVS was serious about what it did,
>such a declaration might ease the fears which many parents had about a
>kind of school.
>The situation is different now. The school is more secure -- and may not
>if it relies on its long history, the accreditation of the town, or the
>recognition of other schools and educators. At the same time, the NEASC
>drifted away from its original mission -- the NEASC sees itself more and
more as
>an organization for people who share the same specific vision of
education -- a
>club for schools which require students to engage in formal instruction in
>various subjects specific subjects.
>Given this situation, I would not be surprised if the school chooses not to
>renew its association with the NEASC in five years. This doesn't mean that
>school won't decide to seek formal recognition from a different sort of
>Accreditation is only a good business move, if it doesn't compromise the
>organization in an uncomfortable way, and the accreditation has some
>that would actually encourage prospective clients.

That's another Sudbury Valley-centric statement. Accreditation is also a
good idea if it prevents the school from being shut down or having to set up
elaborate structures in order to avoid being shut down or helps it qualify
for things that the School wants etc. etc.

I think I said:

>> I think many schools might see accreditation as a good business move, and
>> it doesn't affect how the school operates, than it's silly not to do it
>> 'cause schools you hate do it.

There's a lot more to consider than the clients. I hope for SVS's sake the
State of Mass Dept. of Ed. or the Town of Framingham doesn't go the way the
NEASC has.

- Joe Jackson,
Visit Fairhaven School's website at

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