Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] sudbury/summerhill

From: Scott David Gray <>
Date: Fri Feb 28 11:57:01 2003

On Fri, 28 Feb 2003, Hector Ortega wrote:

> I'm not really proposing anything. I'm just trying to
> figure out why educators might resist to the idea of
> reforming public schools to the SVS model, even after
> realizing how these schools have worked so well. And
> I'm wondering how a shift from traditional schools to
> hopefully Sudbury schools might occur in society.
> What kind of process will replace our current
> educational system with democratic schools? Will it
> be a sudden shift? Will small private Sudbury schools
> continue to open, one at a time, slowly but surely, or
> will public democratic charter schools (like the one
> schedule to open in 2005 in the LA area) become
> increasingly more numerous as our culture changes?

I don't think that it's feasable for any extant traditional
school to transform to a Sudbury school. It's like
suggesting that a train line transform to an airplane line.
The means, methods, spirit, skills required by the
employees, physical requirements, look and feel of each are
so totally different, as to make it impossible to make such
a change.

It seems to me that, if such a change is ever to occur
(perhaps not in my lifetime), it will occur along a
timetable something like this:

1: More and more people choose to enroll in Sudbury schools,
until it becomes a movement that cannot be ignored.

2: In some parts which are already relatively safe and
kid-friendly, truancy laws are repealed.

3: In those areas where truancy laws are repealed, more and
more kids simply stop attending the public school. In
response to this, the town takes a portion of the money
saved by reducing the public school budgets, to make better
friendlier public spaces -- perhaps expanding the model of
the public library to include a community swimming pool,
sports facilities, etcetera.

4: More and more neighborhoods become safer for children,
and more and more neighborhoods repeal truancy laws.

5: In those areas so densely packed that it doesn't seem
feasible to make the streets kid-safe, communities for kids
within the community are maintained where kids can spend
their day -- these communities within communities will have
much the look and feel of Sudbury schools.

6: As time goes by, the public schools become less and less
relevent. Until they are abandoned and converted into
something more appropriate than schools to the architectural
style (note that most architects who design schools also
design prisons -- just a thought).

--Scott David Gray
reply to:
If God lived on Earth, people would knock out all His
-- Yiddish saying
Received on Fri Feb 28 2003 - 11:55:22 EST

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