Re: DSM: Re: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

From: Warren McMillan (warren@bmts.com)
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 20:15:22 EDT


Susan. I am wary of government funding. One of the biggest problems
inherent in traditional schools is their highly politicized nature. Every
time the government changes in this province so does the educational agenda.
This continually shifting itinerary sucks energy and resources out of the
system without adding anything of substance. No educational model can
withstand government intervention... not even Sudbury Valley. It is the
greatest threat to alternative schooling, IMHO.

In terms of planning a SM school, funding hasn't been an issue where I am
because, in Ontario, there has never been funding for independent schools.
That changed only in the past week with an announcement of a tax rebate
system for parents of children who attend independent schools. At the time
of the announcement, there was some suggestion that only schools with a
'satisfactory' curriculum would qualify. Of course, defining 'satisfactory'
will present a problem for them. It will be interesting to see how the
government here reacts to my school, if successful, as there are no other
Sudbury model schools yet in operation in Ontario. If I'm wrong on this,
please let me know.

Anyway, Sudbury Valley has succeeded with no government funding, as far as I
know, so it has not been a factor in my planning.

Is this the right place for this discussion? Am I off-topic here?

Warren

----- Original Message -----
From: Susan Jarquin <jarquin@pacbell.net>
To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 9:30 AM
Subject: Re: DSM: Re: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?

> Warren,
> Do you think that funding is a big issue?
> I haven't researched this greatly but I did spend a couple of days
reading
> through the California Education Code. I found that there are many more
rules
> when money is received from the State of California.
> Susan Jarquin
>
> Warren McMillan wrote:
>
> > Greetings. I've been following this list for awhile to find out more
about
> > Sudbury schools but I find I must respond to this thread on hybrid
schools.
> > I am still learning the Sudbury philosophy but, having taught in
traditional
> > schools for 25 years, I know them pretty well and of one thing I am
sure...
> > they do not change. They don't change because they continue to do an
> > extremely efficient job of what they were originally designed to do,
which
> > has nothing to do with freedom or democracy. Read John Gatto for an
> > eloquent description of the real lessons learned in traditional schools.
I
> > went into teaching to change schooling. I was convinced that to change
> > something you had to do it from within so I got my teaching degree and
spent
> > ten years in traditional classrooms trying to change education. Well,
as
> > you must know by now, I failed, so I spent the next fifteen years just
> > trying to insulate my students from the most invasive aspects of a
coercive
> > system.
> >
> > >From my experience, then, there are no degrees of change that will
transform
> > a traditional school into anything but what it is and has always been.
I
> > believe it is true that an idea never loses its original volition or
> > intention. The intent of an idea follows that idea as long as it
survives.
> > In the case of traditional schooling, the original intent had to do with
> > preparing an industrial workforce, hence the preoccupation with
> > authoritarian control, hierarchical organization, 'class' structure,
> > fragmented blocks of time etc.
> >
> > The reason traditional schooling cannot change is that the whole system,
the
> > whole concept, is based on an original idea that carries this original
> > intent which will never change. Traditional schooling can never
reconcile
> > ideas like democracy and freedom. Now, consider the original intent of
the
> > idea for a Sudbury Valley school. The contrast is stark and is captured
in
> > the title of the seminal text for the school ie. 'Free at Last'.
> >
> > Warren
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: Sam Senteney <sambo01@pacbell.net>
> > To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
> > Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 4:25 PM
> > Subject: DSM: RE: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?
> >
> > > Sam here -
> > >
> > > >I said:
> > > >> "Free schools frighten many people simply because they have no
> > > >> idea how it can all work. Having a "all or nothing", "take it or
leave
> > > it"
> > > >> approach does nothing to bring the nervous on board."
> > > >
> > > >> To me this is a good thing and exactly the point! We in Sacramento
> > have
> > > >had
> > > >> more than our share of "nervous" on board, and after all is said
and
> > done
> > > >> they almost always leave. And usually it is not a plesant
experience.
> > > On
> > > >> the other hand, those who buy the "all or nothing", "take it or
leave
> > it"
> > > >of
> > > >> our philosophy stick around and are contributing members of the
> > > community.
> > > >
> > > >Of course ! But that is because you -are- an SVS model school. No-one
> > > >is arguing with that. And to have the nervous on board
is -definately- an
> > > >error. Well done .
> > > >
> > > >But the discussion is now at a tangent. The trojon horse is not for
SVS
> > > >model schools, but for ordinary ones. If you have full SVS status, no
> > > >worries.
> > >
> > > Clearly my mistake. I thought this was the "discuss-sudbury-model"
list.
> > I
> > > missed the transition to the "other-schools-we-would-like-to-see",
> > > "trojan-horse-for-ordinary-schools", or
> > > "how-to-make-an-almost-but-not-quite-sudbury-school" list. I'll pay
more
> > > attention next time. :+)
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >> Hybrids do not work.
> > > >
> > > >Well blimey ! That's a b o l d statment.? Can you give some
> > examples
> > > >and reasons why it failed?
> > >
> > > I was trolling my library to respond, and then read Susan Jarquin's
post
> > > about "ANNOUNCING A NEW SCHOOL..." by Daniel Greenberg. Bingo! That is
a
> > > great place to start, and trust me, Danny is much more coherent and
> > eloquent
> > > than I. I also remember discussions on this list and others dating
many
> > > years back that involve schools no longer around due to too many
> > > compromises. I apologize, but I am off on too many other projects to
> > provide
> > > the research right now...
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >> "A sliding approach needs to be provided." You can offer Taco Bell
> > next
> > > >> year or possibly two or three kinds of toothpaste the year after,
but
> > for
> > > >> all that sliding you still don't have freedom, just a few more
choices.
> > > >
> > > >And the n a few more, and more and then you are on the road to
freedom.
> > > >And getting on the road is the first step.
> > >
> > > While I enjoy the quaintness of the "one drop is the beginning of an
> > ocean"
> > > type philosophical arguments, they do not apply in this case. It's
that
> > > little bit pregnant thing. Certainly from oppression to freedom there
is
> > a
> > > continuum, and there are many steps and paths to get there. It is
possible
> > > to have partial freedom as a condition. I find it much harder to say
there
> > > is a partial Sudbury school. If we are speaking on one of those
> > > aforementioned lists, then yes, I believe any effort to move an
oppressive
> > > school to one with a greater degree of freedom or practice of
democratic
> > > principles is a positive thing. I just don't believe you can call it a
> > > Sudbury school until you arrive at the destination.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >> Do the smooth and successful conversion of the more extreme and
> > > regimented
> > > >> schools, but don't tinker with creating the missing link, because
there
> > > is
> > > >> none.
> > > >
> > > >You lost me. What are you talking about?
> > >
> > >
> > > When you previously stated -
> > >
> > > "A sliding approach needs to be provided. Interestingly enough, it is
my
> > > observation that the more extreme and regimented a school is, the
> > > more easily, smoothly and successfully the school can be "converted"."
> > >
> > > My response meant that if what you state is true, then go ahead and
> > convert
> > > those schools. There is no "missing link" between one of these
converting
> > > schools and a Sudbury school that can be called a Sudbury school. You
may
> > be
> > > on the road, but you are not there until you are there.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> > > [mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of Alexander
/
> > > Michiru Streater
> > > Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 8:35 AM
> > > To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> > > Subject: DSM: On Hybrid schools . . . Our Trojon Horse?
> > >
> > >
> > > Hi Sam,
> > >
> > > I said:
> > > > "Free schools frighten many people simply because they have no
> > > > idea how it can all work. Having a "all or nothing", "take it or
leave
> > it"
> > > > approach does nothing to bring the nervous on board."
> > >
> > > > To me this is a good thing and exactly the point! We in Sacramento
have
> > > had
> > > > more than our share of "nervous" on board, and after all is said and
> > done
> > > > they almost always leave. And usually it is not a plesant
experience.
> > On
> > > > the other hand, those who buy the "all or nothing", "take it or
leave
> > it"
> > > of
> > > > our philosophy stick around and are contributing members of the
> > community.
> > >
> > > Of course ! But that is because you -are- an SVS model school. No-one
> > > is arguing with that. And to have the nervous on board is -definately-
an
> > > error. Well done .
> > >
> > > But the discussion is now at a tangent. The trojon horse is not for
SVS
> > > model schools, but for ordinary ones. If you have full SVS status, no
> > > worries.
> > >
> > > > Hybrids do not work.
> > >
> > > Well blimey ! That's a b o l d statment.? Can you give some
examples
> > > and reasons why it failed?
> > >
> > > > A Sudbury school is what it is, and parts-swapping
> > > > creates something that is not a Sudbury school. "A regular school
that
> > > > provides more choice to it's students about what they do during the
day"
> > > is
> > > > not a Sudbury School.
> > >
> > > Agreed. Blimey ! Agreed. Please don't think anyone was.
> > >
> > > > You can call it a hybrid Sudbury if you want, but is
> > > > more like a prison that offers McDonalds in addition to the regular
> > dinner
> > > > fare. It may offer more choice, but still is not freedom by any
stretch
> > > of
> > > > the imagination.
> > >
> > > Well that's a start!
> > >
> > > > "A sliding approach needs to be provided." You can offer Taco Bell
next
> > > > year or possibly two or three kinds of toothpaste the year after,
but
> > for
> > > > all that sliding you still don't have freedom, just a few more
choices.
> > >
> > > And the n a few more, and more and then you are on the road to
freedom.
> > > And getting on the road is the first step.
> > >
> > > > Do the smooth and successful conversion of the more extreme and
> > regimented
> > > > schools, but don't tinker with creating the missing link, because
there
> > is
> > > > none.
> > >
> > > You lost me. What are you talking about?
> > >
> > > Alexander Streater
> > >
> > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > > Message to fellow teachers
> > >
> > > Children learn inspite of us, not because of us!
> > >
> > >
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