Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] SVS=Elite? AND Urban Students

From: Alan Klein <alan_at_klein.net>
Date: Wed Dec 4 23:55:01 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Woty Free" <woty_at_oip.net>
> The 'is Sudbury elite' question seems to me to be something
> along the lines of 'how dare you provide something better
> for your own child before it's avalible to all children?". I
> think this is a bad question. If parents do not work to
> make things for their own children, then there will never
> be any improvement for any children.

I see the "elite" question a little differently. I was a founding staff
member of The Highland School, a democratic, but not "Sudbury-Model" school.
We served a mostly very poor, rural group of young folks in West Virginia.
(I use the past tense, as the school is in what I hope will be a temporary
hiatus after 18 years of operation.) Despite the fact that we served such a
poor clientele, the fact of the matter is that Candy and Steve Landvoigt,
the founders of the school, were willing to use their resources, both
financially and personally, to pay the bulk of the school's expenses. We
would have had precious few (if any) students able to afford the school
otherwise.

I understand full well the sacrifices that the founders of SVS and other
such school have made, and continue to make, to ensure that these schools
become operational and to stay operational. I know that tuitions are
generally much lower than other private schools. Despite this, I believe
that the "elite" moniker still fits and that, in fact it is not an
indictment at all. The fact of the matter is that parents of our schools, in
addition to the taxes they pay to support state schools, also have to pay
tuition. This very fact puts attendance out of the reach of many people -
hence "elite". It is not the way we want things to be, for sure -- but it is
the way things are.

~Alan Klein
Received on Wed Dec 04 2002 - 23:54:31 EST

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