The Blue School, a private school located in New York City’s Financial District, has no books and no tests and is facing an exodus of students and teachers.
The school’s website says “our mission is to cultivate creative, joyful and compassionate enquirers who use creative and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world.”
See this lesson plan and judge for yourself. http://blueschool.org/4ssample
Reposted from the NY Post’s article:
One mother, who is yanking her son at the end of the school year, complained that the school is “unstructured.”
“It’s true,” she said when asked if her kid was struggling to read.
In all, she added, four of her son’s first-grade classmates are leaving the Financial District institution.
Another parent who dropped her first-grade son off yesterday said he’s not coming back next year — because he’s got nothing to do.
“When a 6-year-old says they’re bored, there’s a problem,” the mother said. “I think they bit off more than they can chew.”
School officials say students decide their own curriculum, and have no set arrival time. Grades run from kindergarten to third grade. A fourth grade is being added next year.
It sounds as if parents are paying $32,000 a year for progressive daycare, but in reading the mission statement of the founders, I get the feeling that they really meant well. Here is an excerpt from the Letter from the Founders:
We have created an educational program where creativity is cherished and encouraged and where children fall in love with the joy of learning. We have created a healthy, warm, safe, nurturing environment where community is paramount and where children's interactions between classes is just as important as what happens during classes. We have created the kind of educational program we wish we'd had for ourselves and dreamed we'd have for our children -- a place where people feel like there is genuinely no better place to learn and to grow.
In building our program, we remove the kinds of educational practices that we believe are not working so well and amp up the "best practices" and innovations that we believe have great promise.
The biggest omission I can see is that their carefully crafted program has no provision to teach the students any skills for life. There is no reading, no writing, and no math. It is an admirable attempt to create future welfare state citizens, but I think we have enough of those already.
It sounds like the founders were trained in traditional schools and have rejected the good as well as the bad.
Hopefully, recently proposed changes will result in saving the best of the Blue School experience while training students for life.