Re: DSM: RE: Re: Diploma

From: Karen Locke (villagespecialed@charter.net)
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 16:51:28 EST


Joe wrote:
>Different students want different things. Some students want to
>restrict the awarding of a diploma to those who have passed an
>evaluative process. Some students and many parents believe it is
>important to have a document called a diploma in order to get jobs, etc.

I'm torn about what a diploma should mean. On the one hand, those who say
you need it to get a job are probably right. So in some ways it's almost a
civil liberties/non-discrimination case: what could a person do in high
school that would be so bad that a diploma and therefore future chance at a
job should be withheld ? If we hold that much power over someone we need
to take the job seriously. This would argue that we should give diplomas
to everyone, much as some college professors awarded A's during the Vietnam
war so students wouldn't be drafted.

Another argument is that democratic schools ask students to judge for
themselves what they need. How do we then say "well, this is what WE think
you need and you haven't gotten it yet".?

A third viewpoint is that as a member of my community I have a vested
interest in what others think about this school. If getting a diploma here
is considered a joke then probably the school will be considered a joke
too. I would like to be respected, and have the diploma mean something to
others. Therefore, I would like to have some kind of criteria, preferably
in line with the mission statement, that success (diploma) or failure (no
diploma) could be judged on. And as a write that, I feel bad because I
don't want anyone considered a failure.

I think in the final result, I would like a process where each student
judged for him-/her-self whether he/she is ready to be independent in the
world. The community would suggest criteria that the students could use
(able to keep a checking account, hold a job, speak, write, read,
participate in the community), but we all know successful adults that can't
do each of these things. Each student could pick what criteria he/she has
been aiming at and talk about how well he/she has met them. The community
could comment and question, but only that student could truly decide what
"success" was.

Karen

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Wed Mar 27 2002 - 19:39:48 EST