And so we have joined the Article 78 proceeding that I described in that letter. Why is this so important to us? What’s the big deal?
Colleges insist on academic freedom, as they want the pursuit of knowledge and understanding to be radically independent of fashion or favor: wherever the thinking or research or experiments take us, say the academics, that’s where we go. Harley, and all good independent schools, insist on their right to create the best possible education for their students. While we stay informed about best practices, state standards, the Common Core and various standardized measures of learning, we blaze our own trail.
Ultimately, these decisions really come back to the mission of the school: “… to prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow and to lead lives of great purpose.” We blaze our own trail because we’re not trying to go to the same place other schools are going: a life of great purpose is a lofty destination, a hard one to attain. But we won’t compromise on that, and so we won’t compromise on our independence.