Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

From: Scott David Gray (sgray@aramis.sudval.org)
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 22:33:06 EST


On Sat, 1 Dec 2001, Mike Sadofsky wrote:

> In this region it is the New England Association of Schools and
> Colleges (NEASC).
> Joe is pretty much 'right on' with his analysis. These regional
> member associations (there are six that cover the US) are voluntary
> member associations that thrive on the flow of politics in the US DoE
> and the various State Departments of Education.
> SVS decided, as Joe reports and Mark witnessed, that the costs of
> attempting to remain a member of the NEASC far exceeded any value it
> produced for us. We were dealing with increasing frequency of
> accreditation reviews and questions which cost us a lot of staff time
> and legal fees, and anticipated that we would ultimately likely face a
> legal battle in court regarding accreditation. The Assembly
> overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the Association after
> approximately 30 years of membership and accreditation.

Actually, the Assembly did not decide this matter. To be
specific, the Assembly convened (at the request of the Board
of Trustees) to _discuss_ the matter. The Assembly was
overwhelmingly supportive of the notion that the school
should withdraw, and may have passed a resolution to endorse
the idea of withdrawing. But the actual decision to
withdraw was an "operational" decision and so had to be made
made by the School Meeting as mandated by the School's by
laws.

> We've seen no adverse impact on enrollment or on graduates admission
> to colleges and universities.
>
> Mike Sadofsky
>
>
> On Sat, 1 Dec 2001 16:35:56 -0500, you wrote:
>
> >There are also regional accrediting agencies that can provide
> >accreditation. What Mark is speaking of is the fact that until recently
> >Sudbury Valley School was accredited by the one in their region, perhaps
> >the Northeast Association of Schools and Colleges (name??).
> >
> >My understanding is that the politics within this organizationn has
> >changed over the years, with folks with a naarower view of what a school
> >should do coming into power, and it became increasingly apparent to many
> >at Sudbury Valley that the energy and expense that was being put into
> >this process was becoming wasteful, in view of the fact that NASC (or
> >whatever it is called) has become increasingly irrelevent with regard to
> >democratic education in general and Sudbury model education in
> >particular.
> >
> >-Joe
> >
> >
> >> Dear William:
> >>
> >> Sudbury Valley has a lot of experience (time and money)
> >> dealing with the accreditation bureau in the past. I attended
> >> a school meeting last Spring and witnessed a near
> >> overwhelming majority vote of NO confidence (in my opinion, I
> >> don't recall the exact ruling) in the accreditation board,
> >> and their attempt at positioning themselves as powerful, or
> >> meaningful. I am in full agreement, that in regards to our
> >> small, lovely, private education community, their opinions
> >> and therefore their judgments are meaningless to us. They do
> >> not understand, recognize, nor respect the standards and
> >> values put forth by Sudbury Valley (and vice versa.) The last
> >> I know of, we (Sudbury Valley) were seceding from their (now
> >> comes my harsh opinion) pretentious power game.
> >>
> >> This is just my perception, at this time.
> >>
> >> Enjoy,
> >>
> >> Mark
> >> ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: william van horn <wmvh1@excite.com>
> >> To: <discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org>
> >> Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 12:48 AM
> >> Subject: RE: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills
> >>
> >>
> >> > Thanks Joe. It sounds like a good solution. William
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > On Fri, 30 Nov 2001 14:54:35 -0500, discuss-sudbury-model@sudval.org
> >> wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > William,
> >> > >
> >> > > This is an area wherein you will find practically all
> >> the schools
> >> > > differing depending on the state they are in.
> >> > >
> >> > > In order to be accredited by the state of Maryland a
> >> private school
> >> must
> >> > > comply with a list of very specific requirements concerning
> >> > > curriculum and structure. As we were obviously unsuccessful in
> >> > > gaining Maryland private school status, we were actually
> >> told by a
> >> > > person at the MBE non-public schools division that we should
> >> > > consider associating with a church and becoming a Maryland
> >> > > Church-Exempt school.
> >> > >
> >> > > We talked to a couple of churches including the local Unity
> >> > > (Unitarian? I get them mixed up) church and couldn't
> >> work anything
> >> > > out. We then
> >> got
> >> > > the idea to start a church of our own. The church would be very
> >> similar
> >> > > to the model, wherein the church would be an umbrella
> >> organization
> >> > > within which different small groups would operate. The
> >> small groups
> >> > > might or might not engage in specific spiritual or worship
> >> > > activities, but the body of the church itself does not
> >> endorse any
> >> > > particular
> >> faith,
> >> > > creed or spiritual/worship activity, except for our stated creed:
> >> > >
> >> > > "Fairhaven Fellowship exists to support the emotional,
> >> > > intellectual,
> >> and
> >> > > spiritual growth of its members by maintaining a
> >> structure wherein
> >> > > individuals and their families may conduct their own responsible
> >> > > search for truth and meaning. The Fairhaven Fellowship
> >> governs and
> >> > > operates Fairhaven School, a learning community based on the
> >> > > Sudbury model of education. The Sudbury model is founded
> >> upon the
> >> > > principle that
> >> learning
> >> > > is best fostered by self-motivation, self-regulation, and
> >> > > self-criticism; provides a curriculum determined by the
> >> interests of
> >> > > students and teachers; and holds that the opportunities and
> >> > > responsibilities of governing the school is shared among
> >> students,
> >> > > parents, teachers, other employees, and other
> >> representatives of the
> >> > > community."
> >> > >
> >> > > Anyway, the answer to your question is that Fairhaven
> >> School is a
> >> > > Maryland Church-Exempt school accredited by Fairhaven
> >> Fellowship.
> >> > > We offer a high school diploma, and have had no problems with
> >> > > colleges or any other organization I know of accepting
> >> our diploma,
> >> > > just as they would accept diplomas from DeMatha or the Quaker
> >> > > schools or any of our other local religious schools.
> >> > >
> >> > > -Joe
> >> > >
> >> > >
> >> > > > This is a little off track of where this conversation
> >> evolved to
> >> > > but: > > Are Sudbury schools accreditted with their
> >> states and do
> >> > > the > students get an equivalancy of a HS diploma. The
> >> alternative
> >> > > > HS I went to gave out an official diploma even though it did
> >> > > > not have the grades and tests as the rest of the public
> >> > > > schools. (I know this has nothign to do with essential
> >> > > > skills, but......)
> >> > > >
> >> > > >
> >> > > > William M. Van Horn
> >> > > > wmvh1@excite.com
> >> > > > http://www.angelfire.com/art/inmystudio
> >> > > >
> >> > > >
> >> > > >
> >> > > >
> >> > > >
> >> > > > ______________________________________________________________
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> >> > > >
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> >> >
> >> > William M. Van Horn
> >> > wmvh1@excite.com
> >> > http://www.angelfire.com/art/inmystudio
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >> ______________________________________________________________
> >> ______________
> >> __
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-- 
 
--Scott David Gray
reply to: sgray@sudval.org
http://www.unseelie.org/
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