Re: DSM: Sudbury Educational Resource Network
Sat, 1 Jan 2000 18:21:49 EST

Hi Kristin and Linda,

This is Stuart Williams-Ley from Cedarwood Sudbury School. I like the idea of
a Sudbury Educational Resource Network, though I have no idea how you might
make such a thing work. Anyway, one suggestion I have is that someone prepare
PR materials that a Founders Group could utilize or purchase--for example, a
one-page flyer describing what a Sudbury school is, or a web page featuring
startup schools.

There are important objections to this idea. One is that preparing their own
marketing literature forces the founders of Sudbury schools to define their
intentions. However, often Founders Groups have a small core of people who
are firmly committed to the Sudbury model and who also carry the many burdens
of doing PR, finding real estate, getting money, etc. Many founders would be
relieved if they could spend more time talking to people and less time
writing brochures.

Another objection is that the writer of a generic brochure or web page would
perhaps be in the position of defining just what a Sudbury school is. I don't
think that any consensus has developed about such a definition, and I don't
know who would have the "right" to decide what the definition is. That said,
I think a careful writer could distill our schools down to a couple of pages
that few people would argue with.

When I was carrying most of the burden of starting Cedarwood, I found myself
so pressed for time that I resorted to plagiarizing Sudbury Valley's
literature--something that put stress on my relationship with Sudbury Valley.
In the future, it would be preferable if others did not feel the need to take
the same step.

Good luck--


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