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Author Topic: Pagan Schools?  (Read 7242 times)
Letheus
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« Topic Start: August 02, 2010, 09:10:20 pm »

Is there such a thing as Pagan Schools? I know Paganism is not one set religion, but I don't know what else to call the idea I am thinking of. Basically you know how there are Christians Schools(e.g. Lutheran, Catholic, ect.)? Are there Pagan-based schools as well(e.g.Wicca,Asatru,Celt)? I just wondered because if the Christians can go to a school and learn basic subjects PLUS their religion why can't a Witch? Or even other religious peoples. I know this post probably makes NO sense, but I tried to make it sound as sensible as possible...
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« Reply #1: August 02, 2010, 09:49:32 pm »

Is there such a thing as Pagan Schools? I know Paganism is not one set religion, but I don't know what else to call the idea I am thinking of. Basically you know how there are Christians Schools(e.g. Lutheran, Catholic, ect.)? Are there Pagan-based schools as well(e.g.Wicca,Asatru,Celt)? I just wondered because if the Christians can go to a school and learn basic subjects PLUS their religion why can't a Witch? Or even other religious peoples. I know this post probably makes NO sense, but I tried to make it sound as sensible as possible...

Accreditation is a bitch to get. New schools have to prove themselves, make sure their academic course load is rigorous enough to be considered worthy of notice. It's hard enough for a new college to get that accreditation - meaning that your degree will count outside your college - much less a private one affiliated with a small religion with incredibly bad PR.
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« Reply #2: August 02, 2010, 10:02:20 pm »

Accreditation is a bitch to get. New schools have to prove themselves, make sure their academic course load is rigorous enough to be considered worthy of notice. It's hard enough for a new college to get that accreditation - meaning that your degree will count outside your college - much less a private one affiliated with a small religion with incredibly bad PR.

Yeah but what if it's just a primary(elementary) school? Or hell what even if it is a Junior High School or a High School?
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« Reply #3: August 02, 2010, 10:09:47 pm »

Yeah but what if it's just a primary(elementary) school? Or hell what even if it is a Junior High School or a High School?

Those schools still have to be accredited, or else your diploma/education won't mean diddly squat. You have to pass standardized tests (or prove that your kids can - I don't know how private schools deal with national tests, but I would be surprised if there weren't some standards required by the government). And for high school, your kids still have to pass their SATs or whatever to get into college. There are a ton of roadblocks towards setting up a new school. Now, if you're talking about an after school program, or something not directly related to education in that respect... probably a lot easier to set up.
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« Reply #4: August 02, 2010, 10:11:56 pm »

Those schools still have to be accredited, or else your diploma/education won't mean diddly squat. You have to pass standardized tests (or prove that your kids can - I don't know how private schools deal with national tests, but I would be surprised if there weren't some standards required by the government). And for high school, your kids still have to pass their SATs or whatever to get into college. There are a ton of roadblocks towards setting up a new school. Now, if you're talking about an after school program, or something not directly related to education in that respect... probably a lot easier to set up.

I know I am supposed to practice religious tolerance and such but the Christians have really monopolized shit havent they?Sad
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« Reply #5: August 02, 2010, 10:12:21 pm »

I know I am supposed to practice religious tolerance and such but the Christians have really monopolized shit havent they?Sad

What is that supposed to mean?
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« Reply #6: August 02, 2010, 10:18:00 pm »

What is that supposed to mean?

Eh just that the quote in America is "One nation Under God". IMHO it should be "One Nation Under Gods" or not even based on religion at all. Also think about all the Christian Churches out there and all the Church programs. Need I go on?Tongue
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« Reply #7: August 02, 2010, 10:18:41 pm »

Eh just that the quote in America is "One nation Under God". IMHO it should be "One Nation Under Gods" or not even based on religion at all. Also think about all the Christian Churches out there and all the Church programs. Need I go on?Tongue

YOu're not making any sense, so perhaps you should start over.
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« Reply #8: August 02, 2010, 10:23:20 pm »

I know I am supposed to practice religious tolerance and such but the Christians have really monopolized shit havent they?Sad

It has nothing to do with religious tolerance and everything to do with making sure kids are educated. Wanting to raise your children in a school that supports your religion is excellent, but if they can't pass their SATs, know how to cite sources, or do math without a calculator, then their school means little to nothing in the real world.
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« Reply #9: August 02, 2010, 10:26:41 pm »

Well since you answered my question on Pagan Schools and such I am going to create another topic thread on the idea of Christians monopolizing America's religious views.Tongue
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« Reply #10: August 02, 2010, 10:43:40 pm »

Those schools still have to be accredited, or else your diploma/education won't mean diddly squat. You have to pass standardized tests (or prove that your kids can - I don't know how private schools deal with national tests, but I would be surprised if there weren't some standards required by the government). And for high school, your kids still have to pass their SATs or whatever to get into college.

Independent (aka private, and that includes the religious ones) schools are generally exempt from state testing requirements (however, magnet and charter schools aren't, usually.) However, their students still generally take whatever makes sense for standardised testing on the national level: kids where I worked took the PSAT, SAT I, SAT II, ACT, and APs based on their interests/skill in various subjects.

(Everyone took the PSAT, SAT IIs and APs, and whether people take the SAT I or the ACT depends on where they want to go to college: colleges on both coasts tend to prefer the SAT I, the Midwest still has a lot of schools which like the ACT, and some people do much better on one format than the other, so they take both and use the better score.)

And independent schools certainly keep an eye on the general state standards - they're just not limited to them, or limited to teaching in ways that mean that students will retain it for one particular state test. But those state standards often have some very good individual bits and pieces in them that are very worthwhile and best-practice based.

In terms of general standards, that's based on accreditation process (which I just described above), but which generally involves documentation of what the school *says* it is doing, followed up by demonstration that it is, in fact, doing that. (And also what things they admit they're not doing very well right now, but have specific and clear plans to work toward fixing.)

That whole process can be really time consuming, but it can also be really rewarding for the school - it's a nice chance to stop every 5-7 years and see whether what you say you're focusing on is actually what you're sharing with your students. (And if not, why not, and is what you're doing instead actually what you really want to be doing.)

The 5-10 year cycle (depending on the accrediting body) is largely because while some of the things accreditation looks at can change year to year, a number of them (facilities, technology, particular kinds of student ratios or student/teacher ratios, etc.) are things that take time to adjust, plus the school almost certainly has some existing contracts/commitments that will take time to change .

For example, say a school says that they want to move to a more mobile computing model - say, putting an iPad in every student's hand. That seems like a straightforward choice (not one every school will make, but schools certainly are planning to do that...), but schools will need to do a bunch of things - they may need to improve their wireless networking system, budget for the actual machines over the course of two budget years, train teachers and technology support staff on using and supporting the machines, do a bunch of testing, figure out how to set up all those machines, and so on and so forth - which can take a year or two before you even get the program started (and then it'll take another year or two to figure out best practices of use in that school.)

That's part of why you often see schools doing a small pilot program (with just one grade, or just a few specific classes, or whatever.)
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« Reply #11: August 02, 2010, 10:47:21 pm »

I know I am supposed to practice religious tolerance and such but the Christians have really monopolized shit havent they?Sad

Actually, part of the reason for the accreditation standards is precisely *because* various religious schools (not just Christian ones) have tried to rely on the religious teaching without providing good education to their students in other areas. That's pretty bad for a democratic society (and for a functioning capitalistic society, actually) so there's a lot of incentive to make sure that schools are providing a basic level of education and standards whether they're public, charter, or private/independent.

Accreditation is, however, an incredibly lengthy and tedious process - in the accrediting body my previous place of work used, it involves a year of self-reflection (in which every employee of the school spent at least 12 hours in meetings, and at least double or triple that preparing materials for the self-study), additional meetings as a full faculty, curricular mapping and other documentation requirements for teachers, and the equivalent for staff (to demonstrate what's being taught and how). The next year, there's then 4 days of a visit by other educators from peer schools, plus a whole bunch of other meetings and discussions, and finally there's a lengthy response to all of that documentation. Documentation from just one department might be 30-50 pages once you add in supporting material, so imagine how long that takes everyone to produce and go through.

There was a recent (somewhat heated) thread here that you might want to reread for some of the other practical issues in starting a new school, including comments from me and a couple of other people who have experience as staff/teachers/admin/etc. in running such schools at some level.

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=13309.0 is the thread. My long post laying out a bunch of practical issues that have nothing to do with religion and a lot to do with the realities of running a school is at http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=13309.45;p=49 . (That thread started out as specifically about boarding schools, but for most purposes, everything else applies except for the obvious 'living in dorms' parts.)
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« Reply #12: August 02, 2010, 11:06:49 pm »

Eh just that the quote in America is "One nation Under God". IMHO it should be "One Nation Under Gods" or not even based on religion at all. Also think about all the Christian Churches out there and all the Church programs. Need I go on?Tongue

"One nation under God" was added during the 1950's in response to people thinking they saw Communist everywhere they looked.
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« Reply #13: August 03, 2010, 07:20:21 am »

I know I am supposed to practice religious tolerance and such but the Christians have really monopolized shit havent they?Sad

They're the majority religion in this country.  It makes sense that they'd be the most visible.  I'll acknowledge that some Christians and some Christian organizations have abused that in some ways, but at the same time merely being the most visibly-represented religion in a particular country does not necessarily equate to "monopoliz[ing] shit".
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« Reply #14: August 16, 2010, 07:39:47 pm »

"One nation under God" was added during the 1950's in response to people thinking they saw Communist everywhere they looked.

Nah, it's that godless communism was bad, but god accepting / fearing communism was ok.
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