Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Update on threat to withdraw Booroobin's accreditation

From: The Booroobin Sudbury School / Derek Sheppard <>
Date: Tue Jun 17 10:39:00 2003

Hi Carol,

Thanks for your continuing interest and ready offer of support.

I had heard vaguely of the case.

In light of your comments, and partly because I'm working long hours on this stupid submission (which also means that I am not at School), you might be intrigued to know that the equally stupid 2002 legislation that is now being effectively retrospectively applied to us, actually states that we must comply with "Queensland standards of learning".

Interestingly, one of our Staff, a Queensland registered teacher, happened to need to earn some money and went to a couple of State Schools, this week. While there, he asked 2 Principals and also teaching Staff what these standards are, and they had no idea. Our research shows that, as recently as July 2001, the Director of the Queensland Board of Secondary School Studies and another Staff, delivered a paper to a conference of curriculum authorities that questioned such standards are possible and not then realistic. And that was at Director level then. Knowing the processes of implementation and then filtering before a directive or even such a notion reaches principals and teachers at the coalface, it's impossible that "Queensland standards of learning" is anything more than a figment of someone's imagination, let alone a reality. And there's even more gems like this in the assessors' report.

The more I write, and the more we discuss this amongst ourselves and with others, the more ludicrous it all is.

Regards, Derek
The Booroobin Sudbury School - a centre of learning
Ph +61 07 5499 9944 Fax +61 07 3251 0470
Homestay boarding accommodation
Ph +61 07 5499 9943
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Carol Hughes
  Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 10:26 PM
  Subject: Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Update on threat to withdraw Booroobin's accreditation

  Hi Derek,
  Good luck on the 23rd. If you need support I am absolutely ready to write letters on your behalf. Just say the word.

  Are you aware that in the U.S. there was a law suit in California against the state because a child had graduated from High School and couldn't read? Of course the family lost, because, as you can just imagine if all children who weren't adequately prepared could sue the public school system, the school system would have been unanable to pay damages for all the suits that would follow. In the end, they couldn't define what an education was and how that could be properly determined as having been accomplished. This opened the door for all home-schoolers in the U.S. I think this case was back in 1978. I mention this case to encourage you that often a rigid system is its own undoing. In general educational institutions don't think outside of the box without a dope slap. It's powerful belief systems you're up against in terms of the collective consciousness of the last hundred years or so. However, the truth of your educational philosophy is, in the end, even more powerful. You are in a most honorable position for the sake of all children in your country. Once again, I wish you good luck and may you find open minds.



    This is an update about where we're at, and what we're doing in order to respond to the Show Cause Notice.

    So far 2 people have taken initiatives to write early letters, which we agreed could be sent now to gauge any reaction. They're also on our web site under Communiqués. Beattie has not responded to the first, let alone the second, more challenging letter. I think they're holding off until after June 23. We are also holding back on unleashing what we hope will be a sustained flood of letters, if the outcome of the NSSAB's deliberation of our submission on or after June 23, is negative.

    Our next steps will be to send out a short press release for wide distribution describing what's happening to us; on Monday a Psychologist (a friend who worked with another woman to push Ed Qld to establish a "Flexi School", an off campus experiment in alt ed for the Maleny State High School so that they can "help" young people they won't have on the High School grounds) will sit and chat with our Students and produce a report about them and what we expect will be their capacity to learn, be self directed, their natural curiosity, and not be restricted to lock step age based stuff, as they want for "Queensland standards of learning" whatever the hell that is (since what is apparently addressed in the report, and has been built into curriculum driven systems, is more to do with psychology and how people learn, and the value of play, etc and not education); the web site is being updated to detail what is happening for us, along with all correspondence this year, and then gradually past years, so that anyone, anywhere can see it, and arrive at their own conclusions (for the sake of transparency and so it won't really matter whether the Premier reads the letter, because many others will be able to) - some information is already on the web site; our submission will be prepared for forwarding on June 19; it will also include a response and statement of position of our local resident parents, arising from their analysis of the issues, and personal desires for their children; and questions have been drafted for our local independent MLA to ask of the Minister for Education (who is also manager of business for the government, probably in preparation for her ordained future role as possible Labor Premier) in Parliament. There is no agenda for Students as a group, to respond so far. There is nothing being requested of them, or sought, as with everything else we do. Students are involved in all debates and discussions through the School Meeting, and informally, as usual. When they think it's necessary, I know that they will deal with this in their own individual and probable collective ways.

    For the next few days, the submission will be compiled. What we lodge will be more like a book. The submission will also go onto the web site.

    Those of you in the US should note that withdrawal of accreditation by the State, if upheld by a Court (and I can't see that ever would be the case, if we have either the money or the where with all to present our own case at the time), would mean closure of the School. There is no other way to operate as a School - and that's how we want to be regarded.

    Thanks for your interest and support.

    Regards, Derek
    The Booroobin Sudbury School - a centre of learning
    Ph +61 07 5499 9944 Fax +61 07 3251 0470
    Homestay boarding accommodation
    Ph +61 07 5499 9943
Received on Tue Jun 17 2003 - 09:05:06 EDT

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