Alternative School vs Public School

Homesteaders Salli Rasberry and Robert Greenway talk about alternative schooling vs public schools and changing our school system.

| September/October 1971

  • Public school
    The ideals espoused on these pages and in free schools everywhere exist also on plaques in school superintendent's offices across the country. Reforms are underway in many suburbs and ghettos, and in whole regions.
  • 011-018-01
    The public schools aren't an outrage for the children of young hip families alone; nor for angry screwed-for-centuries' Blacks or Chicanos; nor for erudite New Left intellectuals; nor for suburban young marrieds becoming slightly unhinged from the dominant culture through a few encounter groups or a little dope.
  • 011-021-01
    It takes a long time to realize that a school, free or otherwise, is just a bunch of people, doing things. And if those people are confused, or afraid, the school will be confusing and fearful. 
    Photo courtesy of RASBERRY
  • 011-022-01
    The essential dilemma is this: though a school must arise from the vorpal heart of its culture, the new culture from which — and for which — we're trying to create schools is not yet formed.

  • Public school
  • 011-018-01
  • 011-021-01
  • 011-022-01

Notes From The Summer of 1970—June 

Meanwhile, back in Freestone . . .  

. . . Golden summer of California. The fog stays west of us, below our hilltop in Sonoma County. It's still spring back east. Here there will be no more rain until winter . . . steady sun, fog, hawks wheel on the wind off the ocean. At walking back to the house from the sauna, owls hoot from the trees. It is so quiet we can hear a dog barking across the valley, two miles away . . . And it is here that we search for a balance that feels right; a context in which to live, from which to envision the future lives of our children. We try out the vision. 

We buy doves, raise chickens, get into organic gardening, off the clothes most of the time, make tipis, sing . . . and find that breaking free of the bonds of one culture doesn't create the agenda for the next. Anger has taught us nothing, has won us only a flawed space. Our necks still ache. Our work stays Out There like a vestige of the Protestant Ethic, a controlling force . . . even doing the book together as a means for reaching out to a new community with whom we can share . . . work.  

We are stretched between: a vision—soft, flashes of joy, at times a community of sharing, loving people, friends with clear eyes, flowings toward expanded consciousness; and a sense of knowing a hard reality—the knowledge that 70% of the humans on this planet are hungry, many starving, person by person, unrelieved by the very system whose abundance provides us with space in which to experiment . . . 

Our context for now: knowing that what is emerging; completely new to us (but perhaps not new at all to the ancient heritage of our cells and bones) and that our definitions and expectations distort, perhaps limit the flow; and knowing that a parameter for a "humanized, neo-industrial revolution" is at least a response to those starving and to those who would destroy sources of life for personal greed.  



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