Re: DSM: [SVS Discussion Board] questions

Scott Gray (
Wed, 12 Apr 2000 08:39:36 -0400 (EDT)

Hi Tom,

On Wed, 12 Apr 2000 wrote:

> The following new message has been posted on SVS Discussion Board at
> <>.
> ***************************************************************************
> MESSAGE: (#119) questions
> <>
> AUTHOR: Tom Barone <>
> DATE: Wednesday, 12 April 2000, at 3:18 a.m.
> Hi, My name is Dr. Tom Barone,
> I teach a class at Arizona State University and my students had the following
> questions about Sudbury Vallet School:
> 1. Has research been done to determine the success of graduates over time? 2.
> What is the educational background of parents? 3. Could you give a few
> examples of specific rules at SVS? 4. What would you have to do to be
> expelled? 5. Do kids of approximately the same age hang out together? 6. Are
> there social cliques or interest groups? 7. Are there scholarships avaliable?
> 8. Is the student body multicultural?

1. Yes. Several such studies. See the book "Legacy of Trust," and
studies (published in Journals of Education and Developmental Psychology)
by Peter Gray, Jay Feldman, and David Chanoff. These studies show SVS
alumni to be succesful criterion by any standard criterion (self-reported
happiness, income, job satisfaction, etc.), when compared to alumni of
traditional schools who are matched for parental income and education

2. Varied widely. See above.

3. Not easily, as I do not have a copy of the lawbook in front of me.
The lawbook contains a wide range of very different sorts of rules, from
rules about general behavior (noone may knowingly disrupt another person's
activities), to rules governing the use of the campus (no hot drinks
outside of the kitchen or away from the sewing room table), to rules
governing the administration of the school (the membership of committees
is made up of people who submitted their names for membership to the
School Meeting secretary in the first ten days of October or the first ten
days of January). In addition, there is a body of common law in the

4. If one wants to get expelled, and makes that plain by her/his actions,
it will be arranged. Violence, sentence breaking, repeated offenses
without cessation, are the sorts of things that get noticed by the School
Meeting and cause persons' membership in the school to be terminated.

5. Very frequently, but very very far from exclusively. See articles by
Gray and Feldman on age mixing, and the article by Daniel Greenberg
"Sudbury Valley's Secret Weapon".

6. Of course there are. If you walk into a place where three separate
conversations are going on, you will tend to join the conversation which
holds the most interest for you.

7. We are loathe to dig into people's personal finances, but there are
circumstances under which people can arrange a payment plan with the
registrar, or be offered a long-term loan for tuition. Tuition remains
about 1/3 the per-pupil cost of running the local public schools.

8. In any community where people have personal sovereignty, of course
they develop into people with different means of expressing themselves and
of thinking about the world. How could a school that passes no judgement
about individual activities or cultural practices (except when one
individual's rights interfere with anothers) be anything but
"multicultural?" As noted in point 6, people can explore their attitudes
and thoughts with whomever they wish, and this leads to an unfolding of
interests that certainly leads people on different paths.

> I would greatly appecite it if someone could respond to these questions> My
> email address is > email address is
> Many thanks!
> Tom Barone.
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--Scott David Gray
reply to:
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing
the thinking.

-- Lyndon Baines Johnson

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