Frequently Asked Questions about the Questionnaire
FamilyLightsm -- Successor to "Bridge to Understanding sm"
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Q:  You are asking questions based upon guidelines we don't agree with. This puts us in a "no win" situation trying to respond to your questionnaire.  We won't lie, but we automatically make ourselves look bad because we don't conform to your unreasonable standard.

A:  We at FamilyLight sm invite you express your objection on our website and on your questionnaire response.  We suggest that first (before you complete and return your questionnaire response) you go to the web page that shows the Guideline you take issue with and write to us for publication a tasteful but firm and assertive refutation of what we say in presenting the Guideline and send that to  We will, first of all, consider what you have to say. If you persuade us, we will change the guideline.  If you don't persuade us, (and probably if you do) we will post your comments on the web right along with our own.  Once we have responded in that way, complete your questionnaire response, referring not just to our Guideline but also to your suggestion of what ought to replace it.

We know we are controversial.  We don't want our opinions to be the final word on anything.  We do want them to be a starting point for discussion. 

Q: Why do you want so much financial information?  We don't really want to identify our creditors and investors. 

A: We understand we are breaking new ground by asking these questions and anticipated that doing so would bring discomfort to some schools and programs. But we believe very strongly that investors and creditors always have potential influence and usually very real influence that helps to define the character of a school or program.  There is also them matter of institutional stability. When the Cedu/Brown Schools closed overnight, the holding company that owned them, McCown De Leeuw & Co., continued to prosper while failing to make resources available so that all of the students in the Cedu/ Brown Schools would not be dumped out on twenty-four hours notice.  We understand that their primary creditor, TIAA-CREF, also had the potential to take a more enlightened approach.  We have questions about the diligence of McCown De Leeuw & Co. in managing Cedu/Brown prior to its demise.  Our consultant, Tom Croke, spoke with Cedu/Brown's CEO several months prior to the closing demonstrated that he did not know the history of the schools involved (He thought King George School was an original Cedu School, vigorously denying that it had been founded by the Brown Schools before acquiring Cedu, but he was wrong) and he spoke in harshly pejorative terms about the then head of King George School.  If what he was saying about her was true, it should have been an internal matter. If it was not true it was actionable defamation.  We do not understand why allegedly smart money managers would leave a person like that in charge of one of their investments, unless they had written it off as a loss already and wanted to take care of a friend by giving him a job with nothing important to do. 

While we do not allege that there was either a law or a codified ethical standard broken here, we would, for example hope that Bain Capital, which stands in the same relationship to Aspen Education and CRC Health as McCown De Leeuw & Co.  did to the Cedu/Brown Schools, would have an approach to the families betting the lives of their children the proper operation of CRC/Aspen schools, camps and healing institutions that is more benevolent than  McCown De Leeuw & Co. and that their investors/creditors would be more concerned about children than TIAA-CREF.  We believe we have a right to answer these questions and that institutions worthy of our trust will answer them, completely, truthfully, and cheerfully.

Q: Why do you need responses submitted both on a PDF scanned from paper and the original DOC files we worked with? 

A: We can quickly and easily post your PDF on the web as soon as it arrives. It also gives us a signature version assuring us that all information is from you as you want it reported.  The DOC file gives us the opportunity to process your submission into a more user friendly display for the general public, linking information internally that should be seen together. 

Q. Why so much redundancy?

A.  Two reasons:  That has helped us to use instructions that we believe (hope) will be more easily understood.   In addition, the redundancy will help to make errors (both yours and ours) more readily visible.  Remember, this is still in the test phase. 

Q. What do you mean by Alpha Test and Beta Test?

A. "Alpha Test" is normally the final testing phase of computer program before it goes public.  We are letting our Alpha test be visible, welcoming feedback from those who care to look.  Frankly, during Alpha, some parts of our questionnaire are simply not finished. Any changes or revisions made during Alpha will lead to destruction of the pre-revision version of whatever is being revised -- or at least it will not be visible on the Internet. Version numbers will not change with revisions during Alpha. 

Beta test is normally when a program is made visible to the public, still expecting some bugs that were undetected during Alpha would still be present.  In our case, the transition to Beta will occur when (1) we are sufficiently comfortable with what we have on line that we are ready to accept responses, but expecting to need to revise.  (2) when we start archiving documents we revise.  When we revise, normally the pre-revision version will be archived and made available (not with minor corrections like spelling errors, but we will do this when meanings change).  Note Version numbers on Doc files.  Version numbers to the left of the decimal are versions from the test phase.  Either they are considered to be still in an Alpha or Beta test or no significant problems led to revision when the transition occurred out of the test period or after that. Revisions during Beta and all minor revisions after Beta will lead to a change of the number to the right of the decimal. Major revisions after Beta will lead to advancing the number to the left of the decimal. Older versions will be archived and kept visible for at least a year. 

Last updated March 25, 2009


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