Wed, 03 Jan 2001 23:07:46 -0700
Karen, here is some information about Blue Mountain School in Oregon--I
wrote asking for information and here's a bit of it which might interest
"Regulations--We have to abide by the contract we signed with the district. We
have to abide by the state laws regarding safety and non-discriminatory
practices. We have to administer state tests (3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th grade)
...and the children don't have to take them (that's so for all the kids in the
state...most districts don't tell the parents that). We have to pass the
results of the tests to the families, student and parent. We don't even keep
copies of the results. "
I don't know what Minnesota's laws are regarding this, and you might have
already explored that...but I thought I'd share this lovely little loophole.
At 10:50 PM 1/3/01 EST, you wrote:
>Paul wrote "Well, moving is not an option. If I can't live in St. Paul, why
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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
>fire codes (schools have to have super-fire protections and be in places
>zoned for them).
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