What happens when children transfer to another school?

“When kids are constantly having to make decisions [in a democratic school], they begin to know who they are and to know how they feel about almost everything. When these kids go into an authoritarian situation, they do not feel threatened about losing their identity; they see the situation, instead, as a game that has to be played in a certain way.” ~ Jerry Mintz, founder of Alternative Education Resource Organization

We have had several students transfer from our program to a more traditional system. One was required to take a test to determine appropriate grade level and did so without a problem and two others were placed in their age-appropriate grade and excelled. In all cases, parents and teachers were surprised at how well these students performed. This is not surprising to us because we know how demanding a Sudbury program really is when it comes to personal responsibility and self-regulation. In any other program where someone tells you exactly what is expected of you is easy in comparison.