Re: DSM: Interest increasing?
Wed, 3 Jan 2001 22:50:25 EST

Paul wrote "Well, moving is not an option. If I can't live in St. Paul, why
live at
all? Seriously, that leads to perhaps my biggest, if most premature
question; is there any way one find if there is a group interested in the
Sudbury model in my area?"

I hope you mean you live in the Minnesota St. Paul, because I live in
Minneapolis! I tried to start a SudburyModel school several years ago and
couldn't quite make it (we tried to make it a charter school and it didn't
work). There is an alternative education conference in Duluth Feb. 21-23 and
I'm presenting there about...democratic schools. Interested?

As for the questions:
Hazards: being thought insane! People don't think they are "real" schools
unless there are rows of desks, textbooks, and, most of all, prescribed times
for doing "work".

Issues with family and friends: People feel threatened if you do something
vastly different from what they are doing. They think one of you must be
wrong-so they go about "Proving" that the one that's wrong is you. I've also
begun thinking that adults get jealous of kids in democratic schools. Here
they are getting to decide what to do every minute of every day, while adults
feel in control of very little of their own time. So they want their
children to be "working" too.

Law/Bureacracies: While trying to start a charter Sudbury-type school, we ran
into people who wanted to measure reading, writing, and math skills every 2
years. Obviously since we didn't want to require students to even TAKE those
subjects unless they wanted to, we didn't want our charter to be pulled if
students made no progress in them. Other restrictions that apply: zoning and
fire codes (schools have to have super-fire protections and be in places
zoned for them).

Karen Locke

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