Fairhaven 2010-2011: A School That Is All That It Can Be

There’s a buzz on the internet this summer about New York high school valedictorian Erica Goldson’s thoughtful speech criticizing the educational system she’s just completed. One highlight:  School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

Here’s a link to the text of her entire speech:

We begin school next Tuesday, our thirteenth year. New students will join Fairhaven and Sudbury schooling veterans. Our busy, bright students will make of their time and their lives just what they determine they should make of them. They’ll play, study, sing, dance, paint, climb, run, read, improvise, and  work. They’ll enact a hundred other verbs I can’t imagine. All in the first week!

Staff and students will decide the issues of the day in JC and School Meeting. While the colossus of public education continues its gallant, ultimately flawed work, we here at Fairhaven School will continue ours, inspired by the values that brought us together in the first place: freedom, respect, curiosity, creativity, and democracy.

On September 24th we will continue our ongoing dialogue about education in America by hosting a screening of “Race To Nowhere”, a documentary about the competitive, stressful atmosphere in twenty-first century American public high schools. For some students, these schools work. For many, we wonder if they do not, and we look forward to seeing the movie and having a lively discussion about it afterwards. Visit our website for ticketing information.

Here’s a link to the movie’s website:


We have other events planned for the fall, including a Poetry/Jazz night (October 15th) and an Open House (October 23rd). See our home page for details.

Mostly, we’re here to celebrate another year embodying another way to become educated at Fairhaven School, where young people have freedom and responsibility, a school designed by its founders and students “to be all that it can be.”

Mark McCaig

August, 2010

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