Category: Waldorf Schools
Sacramento is the epicenter of the debate over whether the Waldorf system
– whose educational philosophy goes back 100 years – is appropriate for a public school.
While enrollment climbs, the district faces a lawsuit this summer from a Northern California group that claims the Waldorf system cannot be separated from founder Rudolf Steiner’s religious philosophy
, making public Waldorf schools ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars.
An unconventional Austrian philosopher’s influence has stretched across a century to specialty vineyards and inventive classrooms in Sonoma County that share his vision for bringing a “life force” to the tilling of soil and cultivating of young minds.
With its trademark affection for liberal politics and alternative practices, this suburban-to-rural county has become fertile ground for the ideas hatched in the early 20th century by quirky, controversial Rudolf Steiner.
Waldorf critics abound…
If all goes well, 100 Waldorf School students in grades 1 through 8 will be moving out of their temporary classrooms in a Santa Monica church and into their new school in Pacific Palisades next month.
Napa Valley Charter School has alleged connection to Waldorf teaching of Anthroposophy A charter school that espouses Waldorf teaching methods will become part of Napa Valley Unified School District next fall, despite concerns about low test scores, lack of diversity and religious ties. The school, Napa Valley Charter School, opened five years ago under the oversight of a rural Nevada City school district and rents space at the Napa County Fairgrounds. A new state law requires charter schools to become part of local school districts. The school board’s 5-2 approval of the charter petition Thursday night did not come without
Parents claim charter school is not religious Marin Independent Journal, Aug. 3, 2003 http://www.marinij.com/ By Nancy Isles Nation, IJ reporter Parents in the Ross Valley are asking the school district to establish a Waldorf-inspired charter to educate the “whole child” but they could run into opposition from others who think such a school should not be publicly funded. The parents who developed the 88-page Waldorf proposal say the program would take a Waldorf-based approach but will not include religious aspects associated with the private schools. Critics, however, say the Waldorf method has no place in publicly funded schools because it
KSL TV, May 9, 2003 http://tv.ksl.com/ Alternative schools are taking root across the country in the form of public charter schools or private independent schools. Here in Utah, state education officials say we’re in the midst of our own shift toward more specialized learning. If your child is a wiz at math, music, or maybe creative writing, there may soon be just the school for him or her. Alternative schools in Utah are expected to number more than forty by the fall of 2005. Ruby Ostermann: “MOM, I DREW YOU A LION.” Two-year-old Ruby Ostermann loves to draw. Her brother
Critics say the public schools’ teaching method is religious The Sacramento Bee, Mar. 31, 2003 http://www.sacbee.com/ By Bill Lindelof — Bee Staff Writer John Morse Waldorf School in south Sacramento and the Yuba River Charter School in Nevada City are once again targets in a legal battle that seeks to ban any public school in America from using Waldorf teaching methods. The group that filed the lawsuit against them contends that the Waldorf system cannot be separated from founder Rudolf Steiner’s religious philosophy — so the public Waldorf schools are sectarian and ineligible to receive taxpayer dollars. Debra Snell, president
National Post (Canada), Nov. 16, 2002 http://www.nationalpost.com/ Carol Milstone Waldorf schools claim to be North America’s fastest-growing chain of alternative independent schools. Parents praise them for encouraging pupils’ artistic expression and keeping pressure and competition to a minimum. But critics are troubled by the schools’ underlying philosophy. It rejects modern medicine and psychiatry and promotes belief in astrology and the existence of gnomes in the woods. Last spring, Helen and Cam Dorion (not their real names) were thrilled with the alternative school they had just selected for their children. “I’ve been looking into schools for about a year now, and