"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's the Family Income, Stupid!

A piece in WaPo on the growing Montesorri movement, especially among the middle-class minorities who can choose something other than the KIPP chain-gangs that remain the preserve of the "left behind." A clip:

And it is appealing to some African American professionals. The private Henson Valley Montessori School in Temple Hills has grown 50 percent over the past decade and plans to move to larger quarters in Upper Marlboro in the fall.

On a recent day at Henson Valley, children were putting together map puzzles, blowing seeds in the air to demonstrate plant dispersion and planning the construction of a space station. "They are learning how to learn," said Stephanie Carr, a federal government manager who has three children at the school. Despite the free-form nature of lessons, "they get very good test scores," Carr said. "My children are testing above grade level."

Pamela Hayes, an accountant in Fort Washington, has three children at the school. "There was a feeling that we were part of a family," she said. The school serves 260 students from preschool through eighth grade; tuition is $9,190 through sixth grade and $12,160 for seventh and eighth.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I am a Waldorf school teacher who is completing a manuscript about my teaching experiences. My hope is that this book is read by poeple who want to change the public school system so that all chidren can experience what Waldorf students experience.

    It is heartening that both Waldorf and Montessori schools are able to operate with tuitions near 10K. This is very close to the funding levels for students in many public school districts. This means that with the economy of scale offered by a larger school district,public schools whould be able to offer the same quality of education.

    In fact, the growing number of Waldorf Charter Schools shows that this is indeed possible.

    It is not about money. There is plenty of money to be redirected if we have the political will to do so. It is about understanding childhood and developing education laws based on a philosphy of education that has children at the center.