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Save a public, democratic school: Blue Mountain in Oregon


From AERO:

Blue Mountain School Needs Your Help One of the few democratic public schools, Blue Mountain, a charter school in Oregon, faces closure because of a politically stacked change in its local board. Letters need to be sent to the State Superintendent. Here is the info from board member Laura Stine:

Dear Friends,

Imagine, as a kid, going to a school where you could choose to explore and develop your interests. Imagine a place where you had an equal vote in making decisions. Most importantly, imagine what school would be like if faculty and other kids respected you as a unique person with skills and talents worthy of support.

In Oregon, there is a publicly-funded school just like that. It is Blue Mountain School.

After 9 years of providing a democratic education, Blue Mountain’s charter was terminated mid-contract by the South Lane School District in a close 4-3 vote. The main issue was assessment, an issue that the schools are struggling to deal with nationwide in the wake of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Blue Mountain reached out to the district in an attempt to respond to its requirements but was not met half-way. As a result of thwarted communication, the district chose to be dissatisfied with our results and began compiling a list of “problems.” In the end, 47 points of contention were presented to the appeals officer – 43 of those points were dismissed outright as immaterial to the case.

So, where are we now? The Oregon State Superintendent, Susan Castillo, will make a final judgment regarding the school’s termination in the next week or so. We urge you to email her TODAY at superintendent.castillo@state.or.us and ask her to keep Blue Mountain as an innovative educational choice. Let her know who you are, what town you live in, and why Blue Mountain is valuable to you. (As they are responding to our letters with a form letter telling us the time for testimony has ended, they may only read your subject line. Write in the subject line ?From [your city-state-country]-Save Blue Mountain?.) Please copy your email to utnvisual@gmail.com so we can send it to the district board.

And email your message to:

Oregon?s Governor, Ted Kulongoski [http://www.governor.state.or.us/Gov/contact_us.shtml]

Oregon newspapers: The Oregonian [letters@news.oregonian.com];
and the Register-Guard [rgletters@registerguard.com]

With limited funds still available, the school is struggling to stay open. Your donation of any amount will help the kids at Blue Mountain finish out this school year. We just hope it won’t be their last.

With your help, this democratic school can receive the public support it deserves. You can make a tax-deductible contribution online at www.bluemountainschool.com.
Laura Stine

Help preserve imaginative, innovative, empowering education by:

* sending this message to others,
* emailing Susan Castillo, and
* giving the gift of education to generations of students at Blue Mountain. Donate via the web, or mail a check to:

Blue Mountain School, Inc.
PO Box 907
Cottage Grove, OR 97424

P.S. To watch a short YouTube video about the school, go to www.youtube.com and search for “Blue Mountain School” or go directly to
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xpvdjsE-sw (video is posted above)

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