Re: DSM: objective source of evidence

John Axtell (
Thu, 05 Apr 2001 08:46:12 -0700

Alan or Laura Gabelsberg wrote:

> Maybe my question should have been more along the lines of - why hasn't
> anyone else already done this? Why haven't there already been outsiders who
> have studied the graduates and published their findings? Any thoughts?
> Laura

Dear Laura,

The plain fact is good research costs good money. People who spend good money
on research usually have a good financial reason for doing so. Those who are
searching for the real truth about education usually are not motivated by
money as their main interest.

Most of us in this movement are looking for what is best for our own children.
Once we have gone through the process of doing our best then it is over, the
kids are gone and there is nothing in it for us.

I think it is important to remember the reason for public education, apart
from "private" education. Private educational institutions simply were not
producing enough good workers needed by the rich people who owned the
industrial factories.

There was never a time in our country that education was offered free without
an agenda that would meet the needs of those footing the bill. Public
education is simply enforced slavery, work without pay for 12 years. Students
must study what is best for society, to heck with what is best for students.

So the bottom line is, at least as I see it, no one with money really cares a
hoot about children getting educated unless it meets the needs of the person
with money. Though "alternative" schools and "educational reform" have been
around for years there has not been one really large grant to financially move
the "experiment" forward, certainly if funded it was never studied.

Some private money has been given to some public schools to see if money
improves the results of the paradigm but I am not aware of any great success
stories, only failed experiments, including bussing and money. I do think
there is a fair amount of evidence that more money put into the public school
paradigm does not change the outcome.

I think the proof of my argument is the fact (an assumption I am making) that
no one has approached any SV model school and asked if they could use some
more money and offered to do research on the effectiveness of the money.
Certainly it does not sound like the founders of SV model are wealthy nor does
it appear that the model attracts a great deal of support from the
traditional, private/religious, schools that simply follow the paradigm of the
public schools but move it into a different setting, same type of building,
just different rules to follow. They certainly have the ability to shift
paradigms but choose not to.

I am constantly looking for organizations that want to give a grant to fund an
existing alternative school and pay for the study of the results, so far no
luck. If anyone on this list knows of anyone or any organization that has
money to spend on a SV type educational paradigm or on its assessment please
let me know. I like grant writing.

I firmly believe it is possible to evaluate the SV model but there seems to be
no reason to do it as if it was proven to be better than the public school
alternative the teachers union would find some way to prevent it from being
introduced into the public school system. One school I am familiar with
averages at the 98 % on the ITBS but there is no rush to find out how they do
it. Results of students simply are not important - the key to success is how
big an organization you can fund and how much money you can get in your

John Axtell.

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