DSM: RE: Re: RE: Parents and Philosophy

From: Liz Reid and Errol Strelnikoff (lizanderrol@home.com)
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 16:54:10 EST

A while ago I was speaking with the founder of a free school that lasted
about eight years and was very successful while that founder was at the
school. The reason she left was because someone had donated an orange crop
to the school as a way to raise money. The school was totally at a loss as
to what to do with these oranges, they lacked the general know-how as to how
to get these oranges to market and the oranges ended up rotting. This
founder was so shocked at how she was unable to do something so basic that
she quit the school and started her own business instead.

All I mean to say by this is that schools can fulfill many different
functions, but not all functions. I know so many parents who are so
committed to the philosophy of whatever school they have chosen and they
think it is the best school on earth. They cite all of the same things that
one reads about on this list, happy self-motivated children, great staff,
creative environment, etc. etc. These schools vary from the strictest
acadamies to Waldorf schools to Sudbury Valleys, yet the responses of the
proponents of the schools are strikingly similar. I even hear myself doing
it about homeschooling these days.

I don't think that all children need to spend twelve years in the same
institution, whether it is Sudbury or Public school or homeschool. And I am
also not sure if the children are the best arbiters of whether they should
or shouldn't stay at a school. In some cases the opportunity cost of a bad
choice is greater than what is learned from that mistake...

I know that last sentence will earn me lots of flack.

Liz Reid


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