Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Some model questions (by newbie)

From: Jeff Collins <>
Date: Thu May 17 22:13:01 2007

I think a couple of points have already been brought up:

    * In our current culture, very few people are guaranteed a job for
      life. This is no different at a Sudbury school. If you don't do
      a good job, you get asked to leave. The only difference is that
      you are asked to leave through a democratic process instead of by
      your boss in a decidedly undemocratic process.
    * Very, very few Sudbury staff members are ever voted off staff. I
      have been involved with the model for 5 years now, and I don't
      know of anyone who has been voted off staff (not saying it hasn't
      happened, just that I don't know about it happening). I believe
      in the entire history of the Sudbury Valley School less than a
      handful of staff have been voted off in their 38 year history (can
      someone from SVS correct me if I am wrong on this?)

The thing that convinced me that this is the right way to do it was
something I read a long time ago. I believe it was Dan Greenberg who
wrote (I am paraphrasing - probably totally inaccurately), "Like
pregnancy, there is no such thing a partial democracy."

There are some democratic schools where the staff is chosen by either
the director (e.g Brooklyn Free School) or by the current staff (e.g.
Harriet Tubman Free School). I like and respect the people involved
with these schools, but I believe that *not* giving the students the
right to select the staff diminishes the opportunities the students have
to make serious and important decisions that effect not only themselves,
but their larger environment. If one of the goals of a Sudbury school
is the create a place for students to be able to learn how to make these
types of decisions, why remove this opportunity.

Jeff Collins
Hudson Valley Sudbury School
Received on Thu May 17 2007 - 22:12:33 EDT

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