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Tuesday, December 07, 1999

Legacy of Trust

I called to get the lab results on my biopsy. The woman who answered the phone recognized me by name and immediately informed me that they'd sent off to another lab for a second opinion. "But they do that all the time, it doesn't mean anything." If they do that all the time, then why did you know my name out of the hundreds of patients that have gone through your clinic in the last week?

Garrett* and I have become the Sudbury telephone and computer repair crew.

I asked Beth if there were any studies of what became of Sudbury students after they graduated, and she found me a copy of Legacy of Trust which is just that. I did a little digging on the web and found some similar Department of Education statistics for our public school system at large. Here are my comparative notes on one aspect--post secondary education--with a summary at the bottom:

From http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/ce/c9709a01.html (from the National Center
for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education):

"The percentage of high school seniors enrolling in any postsecondary institution
within 2 years of their scheduled graduation increased from 61 percent of the class
of 1972 to 72 percent of the class of 1992"


From Legacy of Trust, page 242:

Number who attended post-secondary schools (any): between 80% (2-year SVS) and 93% (SVS only),
with an average of 87% for all students attending SVS one year or more.  (~1991)


From http://nces.ed.gov/pubs/ce/c9711a01.html

"Forty-three percent of 1989­90 beginning postsecondary students seeking an associate's
degree had attained some degree or certificate 5 years after initial enrollment: 8 percent
earned a bacheloršs degree; slightly less than a quarter (23.7 percent) earned an
associate's degree; and 11 percent earned a certificate."

43% of 72% (from above) is 31%, which in theory is the percentage of high school seniors
who go on to receive degrees.


From Legacy of Trust, page 243:

Number receiving college and university degrees ranges from 32% (2-year SVS) to
52% (SVS-only) with an average of 39%.

[Note that Legacy of Trust refers to "College and University Degrees" whereas
the DOE stats refer to "a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, or a certificate".
It is not clear how these two definitions coincide, since the Sudbury stats do
not refer specifically to "certificates".  Further, the vast
majority of Sudbury students received Bachelor's degrees, whereas the majority of
regular high school graduates received Associates degrees.]


In sum:

72% of the general population of high school seniors enrolled in postsecondary institutions
within 2 years of their graduation, and 31% (of high school seniors) enrolled and graduated with
a degree (43% of enrollees graduated).

By contrast, 93% of SVS-only students enrolled in postsecondary, and 52% enrolled and graduated
(56% of enrollees graduated); (*)

and 80% of 2-year SVS students enrolled, and 32% enrolled and graduated (40% of enrollees graduated). (*)

[2-year SVS students constitute the "worst case" in these particular statistics.]

(*) The Sudbury stats, I believe, do not impose the "within 2 years of their graduation"
limitation, so these numbers may be slightly biased in favor of Sudbury.


Key result:  Percentages of high school seniors / Sudbury graduates who went on
	to receive post-secondary degrees [in square brackets are the same statistics
	limited to bachelor's degrees only, omitting associates degrees or "certificates"]:

	High-school students    : 31% [5.7%]
	Sudbury, 1 year or more : 39% [29%]
	Sudbury, all schooling  : 52% [48%]
	Sudbury, 2 years exactly: 32% [24%] (worst case in these statistics)

Possible biases:

	- The high-school to post-secondary-degree rate of 31% (and 5.7%) was computed by combining
	two separate DOE statistics which may have referred to slightly different
	populations, in which case the 31% [5.7%] is not a strictly valid deduction.

	- The DOE stats refer to students enrolling within two years of graduating
	high school, whereas the Sudbury stats do not have such a limitation, so these
	numbers may be slightly biased in favor of Sudbury.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com