DSM: RE: the digest and public school reform

From: Alan or Laura Gabelsberg (argable@swbell.net)
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 22:42:15 EDT


Thank you for sharing your viewpoint on this, Joe. I am inspired by your
conviction. Let me know if I hear you correctly. What you are saying is
it is a waste of time to try to change public schools incrementally. You
feel if someone really wants to liberate learners they should "go all the
way." Is this correct?

I can appreciate what you are saying about it seeming like a waste of time
to tinker with something else when compared to actively supporting a Sudbury
school. Or at least, I imagine what it might be like - a big difference!

What about a school that is something between what a Sudbury is and what a
public school is? What is your view on that? Is that still not worth the
effort? Many newcomers to SVS seem to have a very difficult time with total
freedom concept. (Esp. parents) Even ones who seem to embrace this
philosophy in all other areas of their lives, they still are so very
hesitant because there is that ever present worry - "what if I am wrong??"
What are your thoughts on this?

Laura

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
[mailto:owner-discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org]On Behalf Of Joe Jackson
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2001 4:54 PM
To: discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
Subject: DSM: RE: RE: convesation wandering Our Trojon Horse digest

> My persective is that we need to persuade the -education establishment-
> to "compromise", to to accept "just a few decontrols". We don't have to
> move from our point, but they -must- move theirs.

IMO a waste of time. When public schools say reform, they are talking about
tinkering with curriculum. I reference Gatto like Warren McMillan (thanks
for that blast of reality, by the way, Warren) did. (BTW, John Taylor Gatto
was the keynote speaker at one of Fairhaven's first public meetings way back
in '96)

The Sudbury idea is not about reform; it is about revolution. Many, many
people have tried to reform the educational system to a less coercive model
for many, many decades; it is a waste of time compared to actively working
to support a SM school.

If one is truly interested in liberating learners, they will, IMO, abandon
the "system" and put all their energy behind a school which wholeheartedly
liberates learners and does not do so "incrementally" while actually holding
tightly to the corporate and institutional reigns. If one thinks total
ownership is lost on these students, I would invite them to talk to one for
about two minutes.

The Big Education Bidness response to this, of course, is that low-income
students do not have access to private schools like SM schools, which is BS.
Schools like Fairhaven have Tuition Assistance programs with which students
of all income paradigms can attend. And there is quite a variety of income
brackets represented at the school.

Of course perhaps the insane pressures bearing on the American system are
not as present in UK, and so maybe it's possible for a conventional school
to actually turn into a Sands, but I seriously doubt it since the UK
education ministry tries to wipe Summerhill and Sands off the face of the
planet on a regular basis. Sounds like Big Education Bidness to me.

I've nothing bad to say about all the wonderful people who sacrifice all for
our nation's public schools, but the sad reality is that they are, by their
presence and efforts, bolstering a coercive and damaging system.

-Joe Jackson
mailto:shoeless@jazztbone.com
*****************************
http://www.fairhavenschool.com

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